Asian Sloppy Joes with Pickled Carrots and Onions - unctuous, tangy, sweet, and savory! One big pot of yummy comfort food with a twist.
Heat a large deep, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add vegetable oil and the beef. Brown the beef, breaking up any clumps with a spatula, and cook about 6 minutes. Drain any excess grease and set aside.
Add onions, celery, and jalapeños and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté 1 more minute.
Add tomato paste, diced tomatoes, hoisin sauce, lime juice, and water. Bring the mixture to a slow simmer and fold in the meat. Cover and sauté until cooked down and thickened, 20-30 minutes. Add more water if the mixture gets dry.
Set crock-pot to high. Add the tomato paste, diced tomatoes, hoisin sauce, lime juice, garlic, ginger and water and stir together well. Put the lid on crockpot and start cooking.
Saute ground beef in a sauté pan with vegetable oil over medium-high heat until it’s completely cooked about 6 minutes. Drain off any excess grease and add the meat to the crockpot. Add the onions, celery, and jalapeños and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the vegetables to the crockpot and stir the mixture well. Allow the mixture to cook for 3-4 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low. Stir now and then if possible.
Heat vinegar, sugar, and ginger in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring, until sugar has dissolved - about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and allow mixture to cool to room temperature.
Add the carrots and onions, toss well and allow to sit for 10 minutes on the counter. Transfer to an airtight container and chill covered until ready to use.