Chili Casserole

Chili Casserole

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of medium shells pasta
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper (fresh ground is preferred)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 (14 1/2 oz) cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 (16 oz) can of dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (6 oz) can of tomato paste
  • 2 (4 oz) cans to green chilis (mild or hot) drained
  • 1/4 cup of white wine
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 cups of shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped

Tools

  • 4 quart pot
  • large skillet
  • 2 – 2 quart casserole pans
  • plastic cutting board
  • sharp knife, a chef’s knife works best
  • strainer
  • plastic gloves
  • can opener
  • large serving spoon
  • spatula
  • vegetable shortening
  • sandwich bag
  • oven safe lids for the casserole pans or tin foil.
  • oven mitts

Instructions

Prep the ingredients. Be sure to use the disposable plastic or rubber gloves when seeding and chopping the jalapenos. You do not want to get that in your pores and touch your eyes or other sensitive places.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees with oven rack in middle.

Cook the shell pasta according to directions for al dente using the 4 quart pot. Be sure to salt the boiling water.

In the large skillet cook the 2 lbs of ground beef, chopped onion, minced garlic, the first of the salt and pepper.

Note: I’ve noticed that if you don’t salt the ground beef when you first cook it the beef is bland even if you add more salt later.

Break up the beef and cook until it is no longer pink. Drain in the colander.

Add beef back to the pan and add the next 9 ingredients (from the diced tomatoes to the ground pepper). Stir. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to low, simmer for 15 minutes.

Drain the macaroni and put back in original pan. Now pour the beef mixture into the pan with the pasta. Stir.

Grease the 2 quart casserole pans. I use shortening and the sandwich bag which allows me not to grease my hand.

Split the mixture between two pans. Sprinkle each with one cup of cheese and half of the chopped jalapenos.

Cover either with the lid that came with the casserole pan or with tinfoil. Place in oven on the middle rack and back for 30 minutes.

Carefully remove the lids or tinfoil and return to oven for another 10 minutes.

Let it rest outside of the oven for another 10 minutes before eating.

REMEMBER: Cooking is fun. Do your best and be forgiving if things go wrong. It’s all the process of learning.

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