Tag Archive for Ground beef

Traditional Chili

I have been making this variation one of my aunt’s traditional chili recipes for years. It is always a big hit for family and friends and very easy to make. I have never made it with 9 lbs. of beef before, but I have also never made chili for a huge crowd before. I would make it again using this much meat even if I had less people because I could easily freeze half of it to get us through the winter! It’s an easy recipe to cut in half if you want to. You can also change up the amounts of your spices, add more beans, less onion….the opportunities are endless! If it wasn’t gone so quickly, I would have taken a better picture of it in a bowl all dressed up with cheese and sour cream! 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 30min; Cook Time – 2 1/2 -3 hours

Ingredients:

9 lbs. ground beef

3 onions, diced

6 T. olive oil

6 garlic cloves, minced

4 cans green chiles

3 10 oz. cans beef consommé

4 cans Rotel Chili Fixin’s

4 4oz. cans tomato paste

1 T. oregano

2 T. cumin

6 T. chili powder

3 cans kidney beans (1 drained, 2 undrained)

Garnishes (optional):

Shredded cheddar cheese

Sour cream

Fritos (although the kids will say this is not an optional ingredient)

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Large Pot

Preparing Traditional Chili:

In a large pot, saute onion and garlic until softened, about 6-8 minutes. Add meat and cook until done. Drain.  Return mixture to pot. Add chiles, consommé, Rotel Chili Fixin’s, tomato paste, oregano, cumin and chili powder. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Cover and simmer for 2 hours. Add beans. Simmer for another 30 minutes. Serve hot. Top with cheddar cheese, sour cream, and Fritos, if desired. 

Chili

Important Tips:

The key to a good chili is to never rush it. The longer the flavors have to blend together, the better it will be! 

Variations:

You can easily substitute ground turkey or chicken for the ground beef in this recipe. You just might need to add a little spice! 

Got Leftovers?:

As with all chili, this will keep for months in the freezer as long as you double bag it! 

Lasagna Bundles

Lasagna Bundles

I wanted to make a new pasta dish for my family and came up with these little lasagna bundles. They are a bit time consuming to prepare, but once they are in the oven, you can sit back and relax knowing that a great dinner is on it’s way!

Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required: Prep Time – 30min; Cook Time – 45 min.

Ingredients:

Cheese Sauce:

4 T. salted butter

1/4 c. all purpose flour

4 c. fat free milk (you can use whole milk, but I try to cut the fat)

1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

3/4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

3/4 grated parmesan

pinch of salt

Filling:

1 lb. ground beef

1/4 c. onion, chopped

1 T. fresh thyme, finely chopped

1 T. fresh rosemary, finely chopped

3/4 c. your favorite marinara sauce

Bundles:

1 T. olive oil

1 package lasagna noodles

1 c. mozzarella cheese

2 T. grated parmesan

Preparing Lasagna Bundles:

First, make the cheese sauce: In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until smooth, whisking for about a minute. Gradually whisk in milk and salt until smooth. Bring to a boil and cook, whisking often, until the sauce has thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add the cheeses. Set aside.

Next, make the filling: Brown the ground beef in a large sauté pan along with the onion. When the meat is brown, add the thyme and rosemary. Drain.  Put into a mixing bowl and add in the marinara sauce and mix well. 

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees. Boil a large pot of water and cook the noodles for 8 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Pat dry and lay out on a work surface. Pour about 2-3 cups cheese sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 in. baking dish. Place about 1 spoonful of filling on an end of each lasagna noodle.

Lasagna Bundles

Roll up and place seam side down into the cheese sauce on the baking pan. Repeat until the dish is full.

Lasagna Bundles

Top with more cheese sauce, 2 T. parmesan cheese and 1 c. mozzarella cheese. 

Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10-15 minutes more, or until the cheese starts to brown. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving!

Lasagna Bundles

Variations:

You can stuff the lasagna bundles with whatever ingredients you like, add some mushroom, make it vegetarian, or use a different meat.

Got Leftovers?:

This reheats very well, so make sure you save the leftovers!

How to drain ground beef

What’s the best way to drain ground beef that you have just cooked in a frying pan? Check out this great tip!

Frying Ground Beef

Simple. You take a big colander and line it with paper towels.

How to drain meat

Once the meat is finished, pour the meat onto the paper towels and place the colander back over the skillet. This allows the meat to completely drain without grease spilling over onto you counter or ground beef slipping through the slits in the colander. It also prevents the grease from going down your drain.

How to drain meat

It’s virtually mess free—which I like!

I did not know this little trick until Denise taught it to me. I love it! I was always trying to scoop out the grease, with a spoon, into a jar, precariously placed in my sink, praying the meat did not all come sliding out and down the drain. Anybody else been there and done that? – Melissa