Saturday, May 7, 2011

Ranch Recipes: Cheesy Hamburger Slumgullion

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In the days before there was a cheery oven mitt ready to help you prepare a boxed dinner in under 30 minutes, there was slumgullion. Beloved by housewives everywhere, slumgullion is a fast, simple and hearty meal. It uses only one pan and is on the table in under thirty minutes. This recipe is for a Cheesy Hamburger Slumgullion but the basic recipe is infinitely adaptable and I plan on posting other variations in the future so stay tuned.

I'm a firm believer that everyone should know how to cook a few simple meals - non-cooking significant others, teenagers, even kids can easily master this one. Of course you could follow the directions on the boxed stuff or you could make up a much tastier version of homemade hamburger helper - it is just as easy and doesn't taste like salty cardboard. So give the main meal preparer person for your household the night off and serve up this delicious comfort food.

It took me 22 minutes from the time I entered the kitchen to "butts in seats, forks in hand".

Cheesy Hamburger Slumgullion
- 1 lb lean ground beef (perfect for grassfed beef, no grease to pour off)
- 2 cups pasta
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups milk
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 heaping teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1. In a large pan (that also has a lid that we will use later), brown the ground beef. While beef is cooking mix all spices and cornstarch together. Once beef is fully cooked, drain excess grease if required.

2. Add spice mixture and stir until combined. Add 1 cup water, 2 cups milk and pasta to pan. Bring to a boil then turn down heat, cover pan and let simmer for 10-12 minutes until pasta is done.

3. Turn off heat and add 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Stir until combined and let dish stand uncovered for five minutes before serving to let sauce thicken. Enjoy!

To make this meal prep even easier (or to encourage those who don't venture into the kitchen much to give this recipe a try) consider making up slumgullion mixes in a jar by pre-measuring the pasta and putting the spice mixture in a little zipper bag. Keep a few stocked in the pantry. They also make great gifts!

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