Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Spicy Beef Stove-Top Casserole: New Idea for the Weeknight Dinner Rotation

Spicy Beef Stove-Top Casserole: Easy Stove-Top Dinner

With my kid’s summer activities in full stride, I’ve been scrambling to get dinners on the table before rushing out the door during the week. When in scramble mode I cook what I know I can pull off quickly, which is fine. The problem is I end up preparing the same dinners over and over again which gets boring fast.

To combat the weeknight food fatigue I found myself flipping through my copy of Gordon Ramsay's Home Cooking Cookbook for ideas.

A recipe called Spicy Sausage Rice caught my eye and looked straight forward to make. But it wasn’t necessarily the best recipe for me to consider preparing.

Three Strikes Against Me Choosing this Recipe

When I read the recipe a saw this...
Gordon Ramsay's Spicy Sausage Rice Recipe was strike #1 against preparing Gordo's sausage rice as written. 

The trouble with that line in the recipe is if my wife eats anything with sausage meat in it there's a 100% chance she'll be worshiping the porcelain bowl the next day. I'll probably end up in the dog house for sharing that (ha...who am I kidding, she never reads this blog anyways).

Ground pork would have been a good substitute but the only ground meat in my freezer was ground beef (strike #2). And having to chop scallions, red peppers, tomato and parsley on a kid-activity-infested weeknight is out of the question (strike #3).

Search for Substitutions

A quick decision to push forward using ground beef solved both strike one and two.

Chopped Green Chilies for Spicy Beef Stove-Top Casserole
As for side stepping the chopping, a can of chopped green chilies presented itself as an easy option to add zip to my version of Gord's dish. And jarred roasted red peppers, which are a cinch to slice, were the solution for added color and deep roasted flavor.

Of course Gordy cooks his Sausage Rice Dish in chicken stock and white wine.
Ketchup and Beef Broth for Spicy Beef Stove-Top Casserole
I went with beef broth and few squirts of its best friend ketchup for my ground beef version. Hardly as elegant but a very tasty combination!

Spicy Beef Stove-Top Casserole: Easy ground beef and rice recipe for a weeknight dinner
After twenty minutes of cooking, an aromatic and hearty looking rice dish emerged from under the skillet lid. The only question was would everyone in my family like it.

Thumbs Up or Down?

Before I share how my family rated this meal, you should know that in my kid’s world cooked rice should only be mixed with soy sauce. Anything else mixed with rice makes them squirm.

Spicy Beef Stove-Top Casserole: Easy rice recipe for a weeknight dinner solution

With that said, the one thing they can't resist is melted cheese. It's my secret weapon. Some shredded marble Cheddar melted on top worked like a charm! One nimble was followed by another and soon two empty plates remained. 

Here’s how my family rated this Spicy Beef Stove-Top Casserole:

Kristen (daughter)
Ryan (son)
Robin (wife)

Four thumbs up! That never happens. But I'll take it and make sure I add this dish to the weeknight meal rotation! Thanks for the idea G.R.!

Spicy Beef Stove-Top Casserole

A mixture of rice, mildly spicy green chilies and lean ground meat in a flavor packed stove-top casserole.

Makes: 4 Servings
Time to Prepare: 5 minutes
Time to Cook: 25 to 30 minutes

  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • ½ onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 lb. (16 oz.) lean ground beef
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 can (127 ml / 4 oz.) chopped green chilies
  • 1 cup chopped roasted red peppers (from a jar)
  • 1 cup long-grain rice
  • 2½ cups beef broth
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • shredded cheese (optional)
In a large deep skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and beef. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Cook until meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Drain excess fat.

Add in green chilies, red peppers and rice. Stir well to mix. Add broth and ketchup. Stir again. Bring to a boil, cover with lid and reduce heat to low. Cook until rice is tender and the liquid is almost entirely absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove from heat. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

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