Depending on where you grew up, “Sloppy Joes” can refer either to a savory ground beef mixture served on hamburger buns or to multilayered deli sandwiches served at catered parties (usually delivered wrapped in yellow cellophane). The version here is ground beef. More often than not, the mixture is actually made from a canned or powdered mix—almost never from scratch. I remember tasting Sloppy Joes when the commercial product was introduced at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.
I first made this for a friend who missed the ones his mother used to make (probably from a can). Since then, I make this any time I want to tuck into a deliciously gooey quick supper.