Recipes that are delicious and that always work!

You know these recipes are delicious because if I didn't think that they were fabulous . . . I wouldn't be showing them to you. You can also be sure that these recipes work for the same reason! The rest is simply a matter of taste.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Beef & Macaroni Casserole

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I finally got rid of all the roast beef today by making this delicious casserole.   It's very similar to a Pastitsio, which is a Greek Casserole using ground beef.    My version has a delicious meat filling between two layers of pasta, with a cheese bechamel topping.

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Beaten eggs are combined with the cooked macaroni, which helps to bind them together once the dish is baked, making it very easy to cut into slices.

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The meat filling is quite delicious  . . .  its simply chopped leftover roast beef mixed with some sauted onions and garlic and a small carton of finely chopped tomatoes in juice (ciro) and some seasonings . . .  cinnamon, salt, pepper.  Very tasty.

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A thick layer of bechamel sauce, flavoured with white pepper, nutmeg and Parmesan cheese is layered over top of everything . . . 

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There is a layer of grated strong cheddar cheese on top of the meat, and on top of the bechamel.  I used lower fat cheddar, which worked very well and cut down on some of the bad fat.  Strong cheddar works best and imparts lots of flavour.

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Altogether I thought this was quite delicious.  Todd said it was okay . . . as you know he hates pasta for the most part.  Bah!  He doesn't mind me saving money however and pinching every penny I can from a roast with the leftovers.  I think he would rather I have made bubble and squeak or a hash however . . .  but I wanted to try something different.

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I thought it was quite, quite delicious.  I have a ton of it leftover however and I will freeze that in single servings to enjoy when I am treating him to a steak and kidney pudding or liver and onions.  Works for me!

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*Beef & Macaroni Casserole*
Serves 6

In this tasty casserole, macaroni is layered with a beef filling made with leftover roast and topped off with a cheesy white sauce prior to baking.  Delicious!  Leftovers never tasted so good! 

For the beef layer:
2 TBS olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced
3 cups of leftover roast beef, cut into cubes
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste
390g of finely chopped tomatoes (about 1 1/2 cups)


For the cheese sauce:
3 TBS butter
35g of flour (1/4 cup)
500ml of warm milk (2 cups)
1/2 tsp salt
dash of white pepper
pinch of nutmeg
90g of finely grated Parmesan Cheese (1/2 cup)


For the macaroni:
1/2 pound of macaroni
2 large free range eggs, beaten
you will also need:
240g of strong cheddar cheese, grated (2 cups)


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Preheat the oven to 190*C/ 375*F/ gas mark 5.  Butter a 9 inch square baking dish.  Set aside.
Make the beef layer by heating the olive oil in a skillet.  Add the onion and garlic.  Cook, over low heat, stirring occasionaly until the onions  are softened.  Stir in the beef, tomatoes, cinnamon, salt and pepper  Set aside.


Make the cheese sauce.  Melt the butter in a saucepan.  Whisk in the flour.  Cook for a minute, then slowly whisk in the warm milk.  Season with the salt, white pepper and pinch of nutmeg.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly.  Whisk in the cheese.  Set aside.


Cook the macaroni according to the package directions.  Drain well, then return to the pot.  Stir in the beaten eggs.  Proceed as follows.


Place half of the macaroni mixture in the bottom of the baking dish.  Top with all of the meat mixture.  Sprinkle with half of the cheddar cheese.  Top with the remaining macaroni mixture.  Spread the cheese sauce over top of all.  Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.   Top with a buttered piece of foil and then bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and then bake for an additional 30 minutes, until golden brown and set.   Delicious!


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A tossed salad and if you are so inclined some crusty bread go very well with this!

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I used Cirio Finely Chopped Tomatoes for this.  They come in a 390g tetra carton and four different varieties.   Delicious round tomatoes, deseeded, peeled, and finely cut into pieces.  They are all perfect as a base ingredient to prepare pasta sauces and enrich other recipes:
• Finely chopped tomatoes with a pinch of salt
• Finely chopped with a pinch of salt and a hint of basil
• Finely chopped tomatoes with a pinch of salt and chilli
• Finely chopped tomatoes with a pinch of salt, garlic and onion.

This small, lightweight light Tetra carton allows for easy stocking in your kitchen cupboards and is easier and safer to open than glass bottles or tin cans.  Simply cut across the top with a pair of scissors.  I love them!

Bon Appetit!

4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. IT was very good Monique! And I loved that I could use up my leftovers! Xo

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  2. I made this tonight for dinner. It was absolutely delicious and the smell when cooking had my tummy rumbling in anticipation. Yum!

    As I'm a dreadful tweaker, I used minced beef (I had that already in the freezer) and cooked the tomato sauce for about 20 minutes for the flavours to blend. And I crumbled 110g of feta into the macaroni with the eggs, because ... well... CHEESE! And we have leftovers in the freezer for later in the week.

    Another resounding success, so many thanks.

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    Replies
    1. IT all sounds very delicious Marie! I am at Tweaker also! xo

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