Saturday, June 11, 2011

Cowboy Mac

This is one of my favorite go to meals. It can be fancied up by changing out the cheeses (Gruyere is my fave) or simplified even more by using boxed mac and cheese!
 To start, chop up one onion, a few garlic and peppers ( and whatever else needs time to saute: I've done broccoli, asparagus and eggplant in this) and saute in a little evoo.

Add 2 lbs of ground beef.  As always, I'm cooking for three very large guys that will be working out in the hills all weekend.  If this is just for two you can easily get by with 1 lb of beef and still have a few leftovers.

While the meat is browning, get a pot of salted water boiling.

Once the meat is almost brown, add the secret ingredient --> Joe's Stuff.  This is just super seasoning that my family has always used.  You can substitute Tony's or any other grilling spice mix. I also threw a little corn in here just because I had it and it sounded yummy.

Once thats finished, push it off to the side and we'll work on the cheesy deliciousness.  This starts out like a basic Bechamel.  2 Tbsps butter melted, 2 Tbsps flour stirred in and cooked out a little and a few good glugs of milk; whole milk if you're really feeling dangerous but skim works fine.  Now the amount of milk is always something that has plagued me but for this dish, you want your Bachamel to be a little runny since we're putting in something that resembles cheese but is of no color this earth could ever create --> Velveeta.  Yum. Chop up 1/2 block ( or a little more) into little squares and melt slowly into your milky goodness.  Season with salt and pepper and a little nutmeg.

Time for assembly.  You'll want to put a little cheese sauce on the bottom of your pan to keep everything from sticking and I throw some meat mixture on there for kicks too.  After that, mix your pasta ( that I skipped about telling you to cook 1 lb of macaroni or anything cute with a hollow center and drain, so go ahead and do that :)  )  with the cheese sauce and alternate meat and pasta until your dish ( which I also forgot to tell you can be any size but I found the 9 X 12 is a good fit.)

Top with a few more slices of velveeta  another sprinkle of Joe's Stuff and cover with foil.  If your going to transport it to the hills than you're done.  If not... Then bake at 350 for 40 minutes covered, remove foil, flip on the broiler and cook until the cheesy delicious top is melted and a little bubbly.  Serve with a salad so you don't feel quite as guilty!  

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