JBLM Casserole *
|(Uh, I couldn't snap a pic fast enough before the vultures dug into it, so here's a half-eaten pic...)|
1 ¼ cups chopped onions (about 1 medium)
1 ½ cups sliced celery
1 pound ground beef (my package was 1.37 pounds and I used it all – hard to find an actual 1-pound package of ground beef these days)
1 pound Italian Sausage (I used Safeway brand in the tube)
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked al dente and drained
2 11-ounce cans mexi corn
3 14 ½-ounce cans stewed tomatoes (note these are STEWED)
1 14 ounce can tomato sauce
8 ounces longhorn cheese, grated
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Velveeta cheese – a 1” piece cut from a 2-pound block
1 teaspoon seasoned salt (Johnny’s or Lawry’s, etc.)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Brown ground beef and sausage until it starts to lose its pink color, then add onions and celery and cook until veggies are opaque and somewhat soft. Drain fat, if necessary (we just kinda boil it dry because there’s always so much WATER in the ground beef these days!). Stir in stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, mexi corn, and seasonings and cook, stirring, until heated through. Combine in a large bowl with cheeses and cooked, drained pasta (if you want, you could save some of the cheese to sprinkle on top after you load the whole mess into a casserole).
Place in greased or sprayed casserole. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. Now this is the tricky part – having a casserole large enough. I use a 4.5 litre Corning French White casserole dish that is larger than a 9x13 – but you could use two smaller ones, or a large aluminum disposable. *This is the reason I call it “JBLM Casserole” – JBLM = Joint Base Lewis-McChord, which is the joint basing of Fort Lewis and McChord Air Base here in Washington (just up the road about 20 minutes from where I live).
Why do I call it that? Because the first time I made this dish, the next morning, my husband casually mentioned “So…you’re going up to Fort Lewis today?” I had no clue what he was talking about and just looked at him funny. He asked me again. I looked at him even funnier. Finally, I said “Why would I be going up to Fort Lewis?” He said “Well, you made enough food last night for an army!” LOL! So now we call it the JBLM Casserole for that reason.
So, ok…I could cut down the ingredients so it would more properly fit into a 9x13 pan…but what fun is that? We eat up every last drop (over a couple of days), and I’ve worked this recipe out over time and we think it’s perfect. Yes, you could do your own fiddling with the proportions if you want, but we will keep making it and calling it the JBLM Casserole here in my family, thank-you-very-much ;-)
"Come and git it!!!"
Serves: An Army, Doh!