Ground Beef and Macaroni Casserole
Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring
Salt Table Southern Spring Blend or Southern Herb Blend
A weeknight supper workhorse, this casserole is usually made with a cream of mushroom soup, but the flavors are so much fresher and better with a homemade sauce. The Salt Table’s Southern Spring Blend makes seasoning it a snap so the sauce goes together almost as quickly as opening that can. Other perfect blend combinations are All ‘Round Good Grinder Blend, Southern Herb Garden Blend, Southern Italian Blend, and River Street Cobblestone Blend.
Change it up by adding celery and or peas to it or by changing the cheese to Gruyere or Swiss.
- About 1 tablespoon canola, olive, or vegetable oil
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced small
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced small
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose or instant-blending flour
- 1½ cups beef broth
- ½ cup whole milk
- Salt Table Southern Spring Blend
- 8 ounces (½ of a 1 pound box) elbow macaroni
- 1½ cups (about 5½ ounces) shredded extra-sharp cheddar
How to Make it:
- Put 3 quarts of water on to boil in a large pot over high heat. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 350° F.
- Meanwhile, film a large skillet with oil and heat over medium heat. Crumble in the beef and brown (in batches if necessary to keep from crowding meat), about 2-3 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and season it lightly with Southern Spring Blend. Add the onion to the pan and sauté until softened about 2 minutes. Add the carrot and sauté 2 minutes longer.
- Whisk in the flour, blending until smooth, then slowly whisk in the broth and milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until it’s bubbly and thick. Season to taste with Southern Spring Blend, adjust heat to slow simmer, and cook 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Fold in the beef, let it come back to a simmer, and turn off the heat.
- When the water is boiling, stir in a small handful of salt and macaroni. Cook until softened but still not done (about half the time recommended on the box) . Meanwhile, butter a rectangular 2-quart casserole dish. Drain and add the macaroni to the casserole.
- Add the beef and sauce mixture and 1 cup of the cheese. Gently toss to mix and level with spatula. Sprinkle remaining cheese evenly over top. Bake until bubbly at the center and the cheese is lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Let it rest 10 minutes before serving.
Add the beef and sauce mixture and 1 cup of the cheese. Gently toss to mix and level with spatula. Sprinkle remaining cheese evenly over top. Bake until bubbly at the center and the cheese is lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Let it rest 10 minutes before serving.