Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Regular Show - Mac and Minced Beef

Today I thought that I should bring you a dish that makes a regular appearance in my home, usually at the end of every month and just before payday. Its takes no time at all to prepare and uses inexpensive ingredients.

People seem to think that because I have a food blog I cook gourmet meals at every turn.

Seriously no, eh!

My husband is sworn to secrecy about just how often we call for takeout around here.

No folks, I am not running home after work to whip up burgundy lamb shanks, with grilled polenta and a hearts of palm salad, because really you'd have to be crazy to try to get a cranky toddler to eat THAT at the end of a long day after a late swim lesson.

My kids are troupers and will eat all manners of things that other children their age would not touch. Still they do have their limits and pizza rules over okonomiyaki any day. I enjoy leading them to discover as wide a variety of foods that I possible can but my budget and time doesn't allow for fancy dishes all the time. On weekends I might experiment with something new but during the week it's the regular show. starring a rotating line up of budget-minded, unfussy meals.

Actually I am happiest when preparing meals that don't require a whole lot of thought and are sympathetic to dwindling pantry supplies. This dish fits that bill and is versatile. You don't have canned diced tomatoes? Then use tomato paste and ketchup or tomato soup and omit the tomatoes.   Hello left over spaghetti sauce languishing in in the fridge, you would be perfect for this! My  favorite substitution is a bottle of salsa which gives the meal a pleasant zing. Feel free to include any other add-ins like corn, celery, and sweet peppers if you have them.

Mac and Minced Beef

1 package of elbow macaroni ( 4 servings size)
2 tablespoons oil
3 cloves garlic
1 large onion
1 lb ground beef
1 large carrot
* I like the slight crunchy texture of the fresh carrot in this
1 8oz can peas and carrots
1/2 cup ketchup

1 14.5 oz can Hunts Rosemary and Oregano diced tomatoes
1/3 cup water

1 teaspoons salt
black pepper to taste

In a large pot cook elbow macaroni according to package instructions. drain and set aside.

Sauté onions and garlic in oil until translucent. Add beef and cook until beef is no longer pink. Add a little water if meat starts to stick to the pot.

When the meat is no longer pink add the carrots, peas and carrots, ketchup, diced tomatoes, and 1/3 cup water. Cook the mixture for about 10 mins on medium high heat. Mixture should look like a soupy stew. Add more water if needed. Enough to coat the pasta but not too watery to make it soggy. Remove from the heat and mix the pasta into the beef.


  1. oooh, the carrot is a great addition! and there's nothing wrong without takeout every now and then... :)

  2. Hehe I know what you mean :) We eat omelettes and salads more days than people would think! This looks delicious and easily freezable too!

  3. This takes me back to grade school when all I knes how to cook was hamburger helper but THIS is so grown up! I love it! I especially love the veggies and nice touch with the ketchup! I must make this to make the little girl inside of me shut up...she's drooling, whining and begging for this!

  4. Looks like it would hit the spot. Great easy recipe. I do like the go to foods. ;)

  5. Love this! Reminds me of something similar my mom would make, but with soy sauce and sesame oil and garlic. It's funny, sometimes coworkers see me eat a burger and say, "You eat burgers?!" Like it's not fancy enough for me because I blog and cook.

  6. This looks fantastic! I would have never thought it was this simple, yum!

  7. mmmm....lovely,thank you. we used a tin of corned beef as no minced available, celery, the last of the tomato paste, onion garlic and fresh basil.

  8. Zooms
    Yep! corned beef totally works in this:-)