My husband makes what he calls Tavern Bun by sauting 1 fine chopped onion with a small clove of chopped garlic until tender, adding a pound of ground beef and cooking until browned. Drain grease and add 1 can of condensed tomato soup, about a T each of yellow mustard, cider vinegar and sugar and 1 t worchestershire. Add ketchup to taste, usually about 3 or 4 T. Let simmer for about 10 minutes and then fiddle with above ingredients to alter it to your tastes.
I can't put my hands on it right now but the joy of Cooking recipe is a revelation. It's a bit of work but it's terrific. iirc one important ingredient is finely diced red bell peppers, also ketchup, a little cayenne, uh uh...
anyway it's delicious and it will put you right off of any half-measures in this department. And, they call it "loosemeat" which cracks me up every time.
2 lbs. ground beef
Kitchen sink*, to taste
Brown beef. Add kitchen sink*. Simmer 30 to 45 minutes. Serve over hamburger buns.
* Kitchen sink may include ketchup/Heinz Chili Sauce, barbecue sauce, mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, etc. The idea is to add enough to make the "sandwiches" sloppy, in whatever combination suits your palate.
Yep, kitchen sink it is. I have several recipes, but always end up throwing in a bit of this and that until it tastes right. Mustard is the one that I consider least obvious, but which turns out to be necessary to get the flavor I expect. In addition to the kitchen sink list, I also put in celery seed and black pepper, and I probably use some tomato paste to avoid too much catsup, which gets sweeter than I like if I use too much.