My parents used to make wonderful Sloppy Joes and it was often my choice for birthday dinners. No one remembers the "recipe" which was never written down, but I think I've gotten pretty close to the comfort food I remember so fondly from childhood.
Chop the onions, peppers, and celery and cook over medium heat in the vegetable oil just until they begin to brown. Push to the side of the pan.
Break the ground beef into 1 inch pieces and add to the pan. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper to taste, the thyme, and a few pinches of the chile powder and cumin. Cook until browned and drain the oil. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes, don't brown the garlic. Sprinkle with the flour and gelntly stir it in so it won't clump when you add the liquid.
Drain the beans, and add them to the pan with the tomatos and the rest of the seasoning. Simmer over low heat about 10-15 minutes until the juice thickens.
Serve open faced over onion hamburger buns with a green salad and potato chips.