Sloppy Joe sandwiches consist of ground beef, onions, tomato-based sauce, Worcestershire sauce and seasonings. The loose meat filling goes on a hamburger bun before serving.
The bulk of sloppy joes comes from the ground beef. Cook the ground beef with chopped onions in a skillet over medium heat just until it starts to brown. Traditional sloppy Joes consist of tiny pieces of ground beef, so chop up any large chunks as the meat cooks.
The other main component that distinguishes the sloppy Joe from other sandwiches is the tomato-based sauce cooked into the meat. Canned sloppy Joe sauce is available at the store. Homemade versions usually start with tomato sauce or ketchup. Add 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce to 1 1/2 cups of ketchup for the base of the sauce. Salt, pepper and 1 to 2 tablespoons of brown sugar help flavor the sauce.
Once the sauce is added to the meat, the sandwich filling should simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes. This allows the flavor of the sauce to soak into the meat. The cook can add water to thin the sauce or additional seasonings to get the desired flavor. A scoop of the meat filling goes onto a bun just before serving.