I wish I had some really cool name to give this dish. Honestly, for the last twenty years my kid's have just called it "casserole." I really never needed a name for it until I started this blog. I thought of calling it something like "wacky casserole" or "crazy mac." Because the ingredients are KINDA wacky and crazy. But you know what, they work! So I gave it a somewhat dignified name. Cheesy Beefy Mac sounds dignified, right?
This is one of the very first dishes I ever put together. And out of the respect I have for my humble beginnings, I have never changed the list of ingredients or my method. It's incredibly basic; my homemade version of Hamburger Helper, if you will. I just have to smile every time I make it. Because, of all the culinary adventures and endeavors I have had over the years, this dish, this one right here, my kid's request the most.
1/2 Lb elbow macaroni, uncooked
1 Lb ground sirloin
1 sweet onion, diced
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup A1 Steak Sauce
1 can cream of mushroom soup
salt and pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese *or Colby Jack
Cook your macaroni according to package directions. Drain and rinse and set aside. Meanwhile, in a large non-stick skillet, brown your ground sirloin and onion. (I like to use sirloin as opposed to a higher fat content beef, so that I really don't need to drain the fat. This way there's just a little bit of fat and the beef and onion can cook together without any draining and losing of flavor.) Cook until meat is crumbled and onion is soft. Add can of soup, ketchup, and steak sauce; stirring well. Cover with lid and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Taste to see if you would like to add some salt and pepper. (I usually add a dash of each.) Mix in macaroni, stirring to coat well. Top with shredded cheese. Cover with lid and let simmer on very low; just until cheese is melted and dish is gently bubbling on sides. Serve while piping hot.
LESLIE'S NOTES: If you are not a fan of canned cream soups, here is an excellent recipe to make your own. If that one doesn't seem like your thing, here is another recipe that you might find helpful. Can also substitute tomato sauce instead of ketchup.