Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Macaroni Bake

AKA: All Wrong Casserole

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
450g minced beef
2x225g tins chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 tsp chopped basil
salt and ground pepper
100g dried macaroni

Cheese Sauce
50g butter
50g plain flour
600ml milk
150g cheddar cheese, grated

50g cheddar cheese
2 packets of ready salted crisps (potato chips) finely crushed

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion gently until soft. Add the beef and fry until browned, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon.
Stir in the tomatoes, tomato puree, basil, salt, and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile cook the macaroni in boiling salted water until tender. Drain, fold into the meat sauce, and then turn into a casserole pan.
To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter in the pan, add the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and gradually add the milk, beating all the time. Return to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring, then add the grated cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until thick.
Pour the sauce over the meat and macaroni. Mix together the topping ingredients, and sprinkle them over the cheese sauce. Bake uncovered in the preheated oven for 30 min. Serve hot with a green salad.

I know this looks awful… and it kind of was, but I had to try it. My son’s school (he’ll be starting there in September), was having a summer fair type thing, and they were selling these cookbooks to help raise money. The recipes in it were all from kids at the school (and their families obviously). So cute. So you can see why I couldn’t resist buying one of the books. As for this recipe, well, I never did get to try “Hamburger Helper” when I was growing up, and this looked like it would fill that need in me to eat crap food made from ground beef.

I think there is a way that this could have been better. For starters, I would have drained the fat off when cooking the beef. I would have added some green pepper too. Also, I think, less beef, more pasta. As for the sauce, there was just too much of it. I would have used less, but with more cheese, and then forget the crisps altogether.

Still it seemed like a good idea at the time.

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