Friday, February 22, 2013

Warmth for winter

Here is a quick and easy dish to make that is a guaranteed hit (except for perhaps the picky non-bean eater).  It is easy to double or triple for large groups to feed, great to make ahead and freeze or bring to someone who needs a meal. 

The recipe originated from an actual meatball recipe from my mother in-law, but I just never had the interest in making meatballs as it seemed like a lot of work.  So I changed the meat and sugars and found this version very enjoyable and fast to make.  If you are one who prefers the meatballs, feel free to go that route - it uses the same ingredients.  If you like prefer quicker, and equally pleasing, give this lazy sauce version a try.

Hawaiian Meat Sauce with Rice

1 lb ground beef * 
3/4 cup onion (sm-med sized) - finely chopped
1 clove of garlic - minced
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

1 cup ketchup - Jenn's Naturally-sweet Ketchup
1 1/2 tbsp dried mustard *
2 tbsp white vinegar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup or apple butter or honey
1 - 19 oz can Red or White Kidney beans - rinsed thoroughly
1 - 19oz can Navy beans - rinsed thoroughly
1 - 14 oz can Pineapple (crushed or tidbits) - with juice

1 1/2 cup uncooked rice of choice - cooked according to directions

In a large skillet, brown the beef over medium-high heat and create a small crumb for the meat. Before the beef is fully cooked, add in the onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook until the meat is fully browned. Drain unnecessary juices if you have any. This step can be done ahead of time and once the meat is cooled, frozen for use at a later time. (If you prefer to make meatballs, combine the beef, onion, garlic, salt and pepper and form into balls.  Bake at 400 F for about 10 minutes.)

Add the ketchup, vinegar, mustard to the skillet and mix well.  Add in all the remaining sauce ingredients to the meat in the skillet (you may choose to decrease the amount of beans if it seems like too much for your liking).  Heat the mixture on med-high heat until the sauce begins to boil and then turn down the heat to simmer for about 30 minutes.  Add water as needed if the sauce looks too dry.  Serve over cooked rice and a side of something "green" is always nice!

Cook's Notes:
Ground Beef - I have gotten into the habit of browning about 3 - 4 lbs of beef at a time in my skillet.  I add in the onion, garlic and salt and pepper.  I allow the beef to cool down and then store it in a zip-lock bag and put it in the freezer until needed.  When I need a meal, I can then make any dish I so desire - chili, hawaiian meat sauce, tacos, soup etc.  And the beef breaks apart easily for taking out the amounts I want.  You could also store the beef in separate bags with 1 lb in each bag.  Whatever you prefer! 

This pic shows how I actually have packed up the meal for future use or to give away.

Dried Mustard - Is dry mustard different from prepared mustard??  My google searches do say that you can replace dry mustard with prepared mustard.  1 tsp dry mustard = 1 Tbsp prepared mustard.  So for this recipe,, you would need 4.5 Tbsp prepared mustard.  I have not tried it but figured someone might be out there and not have dried mustard.

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