I've had my friend Melissa's recipe for Cheeseburger Macaroni on my meal plan for more than a month. It just kept getting pushed back, which is a real shame because it was so easy and so delicious. It's basically a Hamburger Helper meal made from scratch.
You'll notice this recipe doesn't include oil. Melissa has practically eliminated all oil/butter from her cooking, using the natural fat in the meat instead. It really is ingenious and the recipes I've tried sans oil are just as flavorful as if I'd started with the requisite 1 tablespoon of oil. The ground beef I buy is 80/20 and by starting with a hot skillet and browning the meat for a few minutes before adding the onions and garlic I was able to render enough fat to cook everything properly without having to drain off any excess later.
This is a simple, hearty one-pot meal the whole family enjoyed. The flavors are so perfect and I love a recipe where you cook the pasta in with the rest of the ingredients. I'm just sorry I waited so long to make it.
As seen on Alosha’s Kitchen, from Ezra Pound Cake
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups beef (or chicken) broth
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
8 ounces macaroni
1 cup (4 ounces) cheddar cheese, grated
4 scallions, chopped
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the beef, breaking apart the meat, until it starts to brown and render some of its fat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are soft and the meat cooked through.
Meanwhile, whisk together the broth, mustard, ketchup, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Add to the meat. Bring the mixture to a boil, then add the macaroni.
Reduce the heat to medium, and cover. Continue cooking for 10 to 12 minutes, until the pasta is tender, stirring every few minutes to make sure the pasta doesn't stick.
When the macaroni is done, remove skillet from heat and add the grated cheese, stirring until melted. Top each serving with some of the chopped scallion and serve immediately.