Simple Macaroni and Beef with Cheese

Simple Macaroni and Beef with Cheese

Michael Ruhlman

Michael Ruhlman

October 23rd, 2017

https://simplefeast.com/chefscatalog

Simple Macaroni and Beef with Cheese

Serves 8
2 hours 30 minutes total time
30 minutes active time
Easy, Kid Friendly

Of the hundreds of dishes on my site, ruhlman.com, this is the No. 1 most clicked on recipe. It’s everything great about comfort food: pasta, cheese and a meat sauce. No single dish is more satisfying.

Cooking Note: The combination of macaroni, beef, and cheese works well with a variety of spices. I like oregano and a generous amount of black pepper with fish sauce. Also try cumin, coriander, hot smoked paprika, and chili powder or whatever suits your mood.

Ingredients
One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 pounds lean ground beef
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pound macaroni
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Directions
Purée the tomatoes in a high-powered blender (or blend directly in the can using an immersion blender.)

Heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the beef and season with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. Cook, breaking up the meat, until it is evenly browned throughout, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a bowl. Drain and discard any liquid left in the pan.

Put the sauté pan back over medium heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of the oil, the onions, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook until the onions are translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Return the beef to the pan. Stir in the tomatoes, fish sauce, oregano, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened and there are no visible pools of liquid remaining, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350˚F.

Cook the macaroni in boiling salted water until it is half-done. (Check the recommended cooking time on the box, probably about 5 minutes.)

Drain and stir the macaroni into the beef tomato mixture. Taste it, add more salt and pepper if needed. Cover the pan and let sit until the pasta has absorbed the sauce and the mixture has cooled, 5 to 6 minutes.

Transfer it to a large baking dish, 9- by 13-inch, or gratin dish and cover it with foil. It can be baked now, refrigerated for up to two days, or frozen for up to 2 weeks. (Or divide between 2 baking dishes. Bake 1 now and freeze 1 for later.)

Bake until piping hot, about 45 minutes.

Remove the foil, cover with the cheeses and broil till it looks beautiful.

Bring to the table and serve right out of the baking dish.

This recipe is part of Simple Feast, an app that hosts an amazing community of Chefs and their delicious recipes. To view more recipes go to Simple Feast.

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Ingredients

  • One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 pound macaroni
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese