For years, I never cooked much red meat. However, when we added raising Red Angus cattle to our Sugar Magnolia Ranches farming business, I suddenly found myself with a freezer full of beef – 70 to 80 pounds of which was ground. Needless to say, I’m always looking for recipes that use ground beef.
This recipe for Mexican Casserole came from one of my favorite food blogs – Tuesday Recipe, by local famous foodie Tori Ritchie. You may remember her Ultimate Kitchens show on Food Network. She also did a show with Bay Area chef Joey Altman. (His restaurant Wild Hare in Menlo Park will always remain one of my favorites. I was so sad when it closed, a victim of the dot-com boom going bust.)
But I digress … Tuesday Recipe offers up an original recipe each week. What I like about Ms. Ritchie’s recipes is that they’re always manageable in both ingredients and time. Simple as they are, the dishes are always very flavorful.
The Mexican Casserole has become one of my go-to recipes, because most of the ingredients are always in my pantry. I did tweak the recipe a smidge to suit my personal tastes. For example, I added a small can of diced green chilies and use black beans, rather than kidney beans.
If you’re ever wracking your brain for something to make for dinner, give the Mexican Casserole a go. It’s a hearty, comforting dish that requires little effort. Perfect for those nights when you don’t really want to cook!
(adapted from Tuesday Recipe)
Makes 8 servings
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed (kidney or pinto beans would work, too)
1 4-ounce can diced green chilies
½ cup uncooked white rice
1 cup grated cheddar or jack cheese, or a combination of the two
In a 12-inch skillet or sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion, cooking until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the meat and cook until brown and crumbly, draining the fat (if needed). Stir in the chili powder, salt, and pepper. Stir in the tomatoes, kidney beans, green chilies, rice, and ¾ can (use the tomato can) of water. Bring to a boil, then cover and cook over low heat for 35 minutes. Turn off the heat and sprinkle the cheese on top. Place the pan under the broiler and cook until the cheese is melted. Serve.