One Pot Cheeseburger Casserole

I should have known not to attempt anything complicated for dinner tonight.   I have a terrible head cold, and I've been barely functioning for a few days.   But my son is at a sleepover, and I was pretty excited to get into some of the recipes I've been saving for those times.    I had no intention of making this one exactly as is, I knew I was going to be swapping out beef broth for chicken broth, yellow mustard for dijon mustard and that I was going to do a combination of sliced and shredded cheese.   I had no idea how far this was going to go off the rails. 

I like to line up all my ingredients on the counter before I start cooking, opening any cans, boxes, etc and lining everything up in the order I need it.     I did that per my usual, and then went fishing in my cabinet to find my stockpot.   I've handed the chore of dishwasher emptying off to my son, and he takes it as a personal challenge to create the most jenga-like configuration of stacking possible of my pots and pans.   This time was no exception.   I located my prize, went to lift it to the stove and in slow motion, the lid started to slide off.  In an attempt to catch it, I instead fumbled it and flipped it onto the counter where all my prepped ingredients were sitting.

Disaster.   I lost the entire can of tomatoes on the floor.   I lost half the box of pasta.  Worst of all, I lost the lid to my stockpot, which cracked in two.   Deep breaths.   Cleaned up all the mess, my head pounding.   Surveyed the remaining ingredients.

And decided to plow ahead anyway.   Yep.  At this point, the recipe went sort of out the window, and I went for more of an "inspired by" feel.    I browned the beef with minced dried onion in the oil in my 5qt saute pan (my largest item with an intact lid).   I drained.    I added my beef broth, the entire 2 cups called for.   I added Ragu traditional sauce and a squirt of tomato paste.    Then I read, add 2 cups of water.   No way.   That would be way too much liquid for the pasta I had left, so I omitted it.     I left it to simmer and then crisped up some bacon on the griddler.   When the pasta was halfway done, there was still a lot of liquid, so I turned the heat up to medium and took the lid off.   When the pasta was completely cooked, I topped it with 5 thin slices of Sargento cheddar, and about 1 cup of shredded cheddar.  For my serving, I added chopped tomato, shredded lettuce, the bacon and chopped red onion.

It's delicious.   I will NEVER be able to replicate it, and my luck, it will be my husband's new favorite meal.   My apologies to Chungah at Damn Delicious for the massacre of her fine recipe!  I've had several hits from her blog, and I know there will be many more.

* Exported from MasterCook *

                      One Pot Cheeseburger Casserole

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  1         tablespoon  olive oil
  1 1/2         pounds  ground beef
  1               tbsp  minced dried onion
                        Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper -- to taste
  8                ozs  Ragu traditional
  2              tbsps  tomato paste
  2               cups  beef broth, reduced sodium
     1/4           cup  ketchup
     1/2            lb  elbow pasta
  1               tbsp  yellow mustard
  1                  c  shredded cheddar
  6              slice  Sargento thin sliced cheddar
                        Diced tomato, diced red onion, shredded lettuce, cooked crumbled bacon

Brown the ground beef with minced dried onion in the oil in a 5qt saute pan.  Drain grease.    Add beef broth, Ragu traditional sauce and tomato paste.   Let simmer on low heat for about 8 minutes, then turn it up to medium for another 8 or until pasta is done (I removed the lid).   Top it with thin slices of Sargento cheddar cheese, and about 1 cup of shredded cheddar.  Replace the lid and let cook until the cheese is melted.    Top with tomato, lettuce, bacon and red onion if desired. 

adapted from  ""

Linked to Weekend Potluck #170


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