Sloppy Joes are a traditional American dish, made from ground beef, onions and a sweet sauce. There are several sloppy Joe recipes available in cookbooks and on the Internet to choose from. However, if the recipe you chose uses too much water or other liquid in the sauce, the result will be more of a ground-beef stew than a thick sandwich filling. You can thicken sloppy Joes with simple ingredients and have the meal ready in approximately 30 minutes.
Combine cornstarch and warm water in a small bowl for every 3 cups of sloppy Joe mixture you need to thicken.
Stir the cornstarch and water mixture with a spoon. Press the back of the spoon against the walls of the bowl to break up any clumps of cornstarch that form. Continue stirring until the mixture is completely smooth. If you allow the mixture to clump up, the sloppy Joes will not thicken, and will develop small, chewy dumplings in the sauce.
Pour the cornstarch and water into the sloppy Joes mixture and stir with a spoon until thoroughly combined.
Cover the sloppy Joe mixture and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the mixture is still too thin for your preference, make a second batch of cornstarch and water mixture and repeat.
If you do not have cornstarch on hand, substitute the 1 tbsp. cornstarch with 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour.
- "Cooking Basics for Dummies"; Bryan Miller, Marie Rama and Eve Adamson; 2011
- "Joy of Cooking: 75th Anniversary Edition"; Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker; 2006
Serena Styles is a Colorado-based writer who specializes in health, fitness and food. Speaking three languages and working on a fourth, Styles is pursuing a Bachelor's in Linguistics and preparing to travel the world. When Styles isn't writing, she can be found hiking, cooking or working as a certified nutritionist.