Nate's Plate Hot Meat Sauce

1 medium onion - chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic - smashed & minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 pounds extra-lean ground beef (90-95% lean)
2 cups water
1/4 cup salsa (any heat)
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons Tabasco / Red Hot sauce (or more to taste)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon prepared chili powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder (or more to taste if using a mild-flavored fresh onion, such as Vidalia)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon paprika (for color)
Kosher salt to taste

In a large pot, sautee chopped onion & garlic in oil. Add onions to oil first to prevent garlic from burning. Sautee until onions are soft and translucent.

Add ground beef and cook until browned. Stir constantly to break up ground beef into a fine texture. Leaner beef will fall apart more easily.

Add water, Red Hot, salsa and ketchup. Bring to a low simmer. Add remaining spices & stir until fullyincorporated.

Simmer over low heat for at least 30 minutes, stirring regularly. Taste & add salt/hot sauce/onionpowder as needed. For best results, simmer for at least an hour. If cooking for a long time, be sure toadd water and ketchup to maintain consistency (thinner than chili, thicker than soup).

Sauce can be frozen & reheated as necessary.

Nathan Henderson