Sloppy Lamb Sandwiches

 A perfectly seasoned lamb ragu gives a spring taste to sloppy Joes.


  • 2 homemade or store-bought roasted red peppers
  • About 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
  • 1 small Fresno chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika or smoked sweet paprika (a scant palmful)
  • A sprinkle of sugar (about 1 teaspoon)
  • Salt and pepper
  • About 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • About 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 loaf crusty bread, cut crosswise into 4 pieces or 4 pretzel rolls (6 inches each) or 8 small pretzel or ciabatta rolls, split
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped or very thinly sliced into rings
  • A small handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • A few leaves of fresh mint, finely chopped
  • A couple handfuls of baby arugula leaves
  • Dijon or hot mustard, for spreading


In a food processor, puree the roasted peppers.

Heat the EVOO, one turn of the pan, in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the lamb and brown it well. Add the chili pepper, garlic, oregano, paprika and sugar; season with salt and pepper and stir for a few minutes.

Add the tomato paste and stir for 1 minute until fragrant. Stir in the wine and lower the heat to simmer for a few minutes to combine the flavors.

Slather the roll bottoms with the roasted pepper paste and top with liberal mounds of meat. Sprinkle with the shallot, parsley and mint. Secure some arugula to the roll tops with mustard and set in place.

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