"If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves."
-Thomas Alva Edison
This is my husbands kind of food. He eats about 5 different meals over and over again. Sure I tried cooking different varieties of things for him over the years but a long time ago I stopped trying. It was like fighting against the tide.
There is a quote that I am reminded of about this, which is:
"What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child?" Lin Yutang
You see all of these meals are nostalgic to him, they make him feel comfortable, like home. So I can respect that. Now I'm accustomed to it. Usually I cook food for him, and something different for myself since we have different tastes. However, I feel completely the opposite. My sister Melanie as well. I've heard her say, "I'll never eat another lunch meat sandwich again for the rest of my life." Since we ate so many of them in our lunches as kids. But my husband? He grew up eating ready made sandwiches out of the fridge, and he still loves them. So we're all different, I guess.
|I add a layer of cheese in the middle so it's nice and cheesy|
When I saw this recipe from Michael Rhulman on pinterest, (from his blog back in 2010) I was like, "heck yeah!" Now that's a recipe my husband could add to his repertoire. It has all the essential elements, beef and noodles. Many of his favorite meals consist of those elements in different forms, such as spaghetti with meat sauce, homemade macaroni and cheese with ground beef and beef noodles, a version of beef strogonoff with no sour cream, he hates sour cream.
|Ready for the oven|
I told him, "I have a new meal that you'll like, beefy mac." He said, "I love beefy mac! I'm hungry, can you make it now?"
I did and he loved it.
Thank you Michael Rhulman for posting a simple, heartwarming, easy and well liked recipe. My husband thanks you too.
adapted from Michael Rhulman's Macaroni and Beef
This makes a lot. Feel free to halve it. It also freezes well. 2 pounds of beef to one pound of macaroni may be a lot for you, it's pretty beefy, (but just right for us) feel free to only use 1 pound. This fills my deep dish 9x13 dish to the top. If you don't have a deep 9x13 pan you may need to use a second pan. I reheated some later in individual ramekins as seen in the above picture, so cooking some up individually is another option.
1 tablespoon oil
salt to taste
optional seasonings: black pepper, oregano, cumin, coriander, chopped garlic, hot smoked paprika, chili powder—whatever you’re in the mood for (I just used black pepper and a tsp. of granulated garlic.)
2 - 15 oz cans (850 g. total) diced tomatoes
1 - 15 oz can (425 g.) tomato sauce
2 pounds (907 g.) lean ground beef
1 box (1 lb.) (454 g.) elbow macaroni
4 cups (1 lb.) (454 g.) grated sharp cheddar cheese or you can use a mixture of different cheeses
Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, 200 degrees Celsius, Gas Mark 6.
Cook the macaroni a few minutes less than the package directions; drain and place back in the pan, add the diced tomatoes and the tomato sauce to let the pasta absorb the tomatoes.
Heat the oil in a large skillet; add the onion and and saute until soft. Add the ground beef and saute until browned. Add plenty of salt to taste, and pepper and spices if using.
Add the ground beef mixture to the macaroni mixture and stir. In a greased deep dish 9x13 inch casserole dish, add about half of the macaroni. Add a layer of cheese, about half, (2 cups.) Add the rest of the macaroni and top with the rest of the cheese. Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and broil the top for another few minutes so it gets nice and bubbly, brown and melted. Let sit about 10 minutes before serving.