Last night I made a KILLER Shepherd’s Pie, like seriously, it was amazing. BUT our packages of ground beef from the farm come in 2lb packages, so that means tonight I still had a pound of ground beef left to use up. I wasn’t in the mood for casserole but I also didn’t feel like anything that was going to make a lot of dishes, long story short, I was feeling lazy. Mister Chris loves anything that resembles Hamburger Helper, he grew up on that (I did NOT) so he loves when I make it homemade. I wanted something with some protein in it so I wanted to use some beans. I had absolutely no clue what dinner would end up being.
I browned up the meat, added salt, pepper, the usual suspects of spices, garlic and onion powders, some parsley and let it get nice and brown. Then I figured no matter what I was going to turn it into, it would be saucy, thus requiring roux. I let that cook for a few minutes and then added beef broth, the pasta would have to cook in something right? So then I tossed in half a box of shells and set that to cook. While I let it cook I really had no clue where it was headed. I was craving stroganoff but had no mushrooms or heavy cream, and then I was thinking about the beans again…hmmmmm what if I made it like a cheesy taco? Mmmmm Velveeta (there is a Velveeta shortage on the horizon so watch out!!) sounds soooo good, I know it’s not my usual kind of food but darnit I love Velveeta cheese once in a while! So to the broth I added: paprika, chili powder, more garlic and onion powder, some dried chives, some lime juice and let that cook along with 2 cans of beans. It was smelling GOOD. It got to 4minutes on the timer, I tasted it, adjusted the spices and let it finish. When the pasta was done I turned off the heat and dumped in some Velveeta. (again folks, there might be a Velveeta shortage….gird your loins!)
Can I just say, that my dinner with no direction ended up being AWESOME!! Like really really good. It might not photograph well, it might not be fancy or CIA worthy, but it was GOOD. The hubs ate two servings and Riley begged but got none. So here is my easy peasy no direction cheesy taco homemade hamburger helper!
Cheesy Taco Homemade Hamburger Helper
- 1lb ground beef
- 1/2lb medium shells
- 2 Cups Beef Broth
- 2 Cups Water
- 4 Tablespoons Flour
- 4 Tablespoons Butter
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 Can black beans, rinsed
- 1 Can pinto beans, rinsed
- 1 Tablespoon Parsley
- 1/2 Tablespoon each Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Chili Powder
- 2 Tablespoons Paprika
- 1/2 Teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/2 Teaspoon dried chives
- The juice of 1 lime
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar
- 4-6 slices of Velveeta, each about 1/4″ thick (more or less depending on your taste)
- Over medium high heat brown the ground beef along with salt pepper and all the dried spices
- When sufficiently browned drain the fat off
- Reduce the heat to medium. Add the flour and butter, it will coat the meat and may stick to the pan a bit, just keep stirring it constantly for about 3 minutes, making sure the flour and butter is well mixed throughout and continue to cook.
- After that 3 minutes, return to medium high head and add the beef broth and water and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally
- When it boils add the pasta, lime juice, the beans and cover, cook for 10 minutes with the heat at medium high, stirring occasionally
- After that 10 minutes, uncover, and continue to cook at medium high for about 4 – 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Test for doneness,
- IF done, add the Velveeta then immediately cover and turn off the heat. Allow to sit for 7-10 minutes for the cheese to melt, then stir to combine and disperse cheese throughout.
- Serve and enjoy!