BEEFY MAC AND CHEESE

I love meals where all of the goodies come together to form one pot or dish of goodness.  I’m a huge fan and have shared some of my favorites over the years like Guyanese Cook-up Rice, Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya, Stewed Chicken Pasta, Beefy Baked Penne, One Pot Pesto Pasta and Chicken, Chorizo and Shrimp “Pelau.” It should come as no surprise that I have yet another to share!  Fact – I love macaroni and cheese, I mean who doesn’t?  Add seasoned ground beef and you have upped the ante a bit.  Don’t get me wrong, macaroni and cheese is a dish that holds its own but it’s nice this way as well.  I use my classic macaroni and cheese recipe and added spicy browned ground beef which adds a spicy, meaty flavor to the dish, hence the name beefy mac and cheese.  I’ve made this quite a bit and it’s one of the few meals that I don’t have to fight with my 6 year old to eat so it’s a winner in my book.  For this dish I kept it simple and stuck to using a good sharp cheddar cheese which gives the dish that cheesy flavor that you’re looking for in a good macaroni and cheese.  The meat is cooked with onions, garlic, cayenne and black pepper then added to the macaroni and cheese,  I then cover it with a heaping pile of cheese and bake it up until the cheese has melted and bubbling.  Beefy mac and cheese is great on its own but it you’re trying to have a little green on your plate you can add roasted broccoli, asparagus or whichever vegetable you prefer!

BEEFY MAC AND CHEESE

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ½ tsp oil
  • ½ onion
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 lb macaroni, cooked
  • 16 oz sharp cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard

Instructions

  1. Over medium heat, heat oil in a frying pan. When oil is hot add ground beef, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper and garlic powder and cook until brown then add onion.
  2. Cook onion until its softened, about 3-5 minutes then add water and cook for about 10 minutes or until the water has evaporated. Set meat mixture aside.
  3. In a large pot over low heat, melt butter. When the butter has melted, add in flour while stirring to make it smooth. Cook for about 2-3 minutes then add milk and stir until smooth.
  4. Cook on low heat for about 5 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken then add all but 1 cup of cheese and Dijon mustard to the mixture. Add a pinch of salt to taste.
  5. Stir until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth then add cooked macaroni pasta and ground beef.
  6. Place into a greased 13x9 baking dish, top with remaining cheese and bake in oven preheated to 350 degrees. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the macaroni and cheese begins to bubble and the cheese has melted. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
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