Sunday, April 17, 2016

Cheesy Beef and Bean Bake: Sometimes Good Food Is Ugly

I'm just going to throw my cards on the table from the start and say this is one ugly meal.  It's also not something I would normally have thought to try.  On the surface it just doesn't sound all that good.
But it is.  It's actually very good.

 You see, one day last week I was extremely busy with popcorn orders.  I didn't have time to run to the store, I didn't have time to defrost the whole chicken I had in the freezer, I didn't have time- or energy- for much of anything.  What I did have was leftover mashed potatoes- you know, the same recipe I wrote about a few days ago.  So I searched for recipes that used mashed potatoes as an ingredient.

Enter Cheesy Beef and Bean Bake- I had everything I needed on hand.
Mashed potatoes?  Check.
Baked beans?  Check.
Cheese?  Check.
Beef?  Easily defrostable.

Sounded weird, but my options were severely limited at that hour of the day and the reviews were pretty stellar so I forged ahead. 

My husband came home and asked what was for dinner.  I tentatively described the meal waiting for him in the oven.  He gave me that look that says, "I love you so much that I'm not going to say anything but....ugh."

Then he proceeded to come back for a rather large second helping.

The recipe itself couldn't be more simple- brown some ground beef with onion, mix in BBQ sauce and baked beans.  Top that with mashed potatoes and cheese before baking.  I did pipe the potatoes on in an attempt to make it a little prettier, but that's a totally unnecessary step.

Simple, right?
A little weird sounding, but simple!

So honestly...this is a quick comfort food.  But it's tasty and comes together so easily.  It's a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes and it's filling enough to stretch out over a number of servings.  It's definitely one I'll be keeping in my back pocket moving forward!

1 pound ground beef
6 oz BBQ sauce
1 onion, chopped
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 (15 ounce) can baked beans
6 cups mashed potatoes
6 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).  In a large skillet over medium high heat, combine the ground beef and onion.  Saute for 10 minutes, or until beef is browned and onions have begun to soften. Add the BBQ and Worcestershire sauce. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Place beef mixture into a casserole dish. Layer the beans over the beef and smooth prepared potatoes over the beans.  Sprinkle the cheese over the potatoes and bake uncovered at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 30 to 40 minutes.

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