This entry is supposed to be included in a family reunion cookbook that my sister, Katie, is putting together for the August shindig. Being the picky eater that I am, you must understand that I would never steer you wrong on white trash goodness. Honestly, any recipe that starts with "1 lb. ground beef" and is cooked in a 9 x 13 pan can't be all bad. I dare you to try this.
Growing up in a family of nine children, those were the most dreaded words we could hear from our mother when one of us asked, "What's for supper?" It took a special skill set to feed that large of a family, and my mom was always one to give a new recipe a try, especially if the first ingredient listed was "1 lb. ground beef."
My husband, Mr. Fix, and I only have two daughters, so a compendium of meals featuring hamburger is not really necessary. Factor in that I'm a vegetarian, and suffice it to say that any meal from my childhood better be adaptable and damn delicious.
This one makes the cut. I've adapted it a bit from the original recipe (which I'm sure came from an issue of Better Homes and Gardens or Woman's Day), but the idea is the same: a delicious, quick, one-serving-dish meal. Enjoy!
Tato Taco Casserole
1 lb. ground beef, turkey, or veggie crumbles cooked with taco seasoning
1 can black beans or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
3 c. instant mashed potatoes
1 c. water
16 oz. sour cream
1 c. chopped green onions
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
approximately 1 to 1 -1/2 c. of shredded salad greens, diced tomatoes, chopped green peppers, sliced black olives (optional), diced jalapeno peppers
2 c. crushed corn chips
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare you meat or meat-alternative as directed for the taco seasoning packet (if you make your own taco seasoning, good for you, but the stuff in the packet is just fine. I swear.) Add the beans to the seasoned meat and set aside.
Spray the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray. In a separate bowl, combine the instant potatoes, water, green onions, and sour cream. (The original recipe only called for half of these ingredients' amounts; we like it doubled up as it makes for a heartier dish.) Press this mixture into the bottom of your baking dish, and bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown.
Remove the dish from the oven, spread the meat & bean mixture over the potatoes, and sprinkle the cheese on top. Return to the oven for an additional 5-8 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
Remove from the oven and top with corn chips, lettuce, tomatoes, etc. Serve it up with a smile. Just like their mother before them, our daughters (photo below) Daughter #1 (left) and Daughter #2 love this dish. We even call my sister, Katie, when we're making it, just to rub it in.