9-21: Chili Beef Casserole is yet another case of calling something a casserole that is barely a casserole. There is no condensed soup in this recipe and this dish is cooked on a stove top, not baked. This dish is more of a tortilla filling than a main course as a casserole.
One might say this dish is a ground beef casserole with a cultural appropriation problem, not “with a Mexican accent”.
You may recognize 8-65: Sizzling Skirt Steaks as basically fajitas, one of the standard Mexican restaurant menu features. If you’re looking for something different on taco night, consider this dish. This can even be modified for different types of proteins, or even add in a few more veggies or a meat substitute and go meatless.
Flank or skirt steak is taken from the underside of the cow, and is tougher than most other cuts of meat. Therefore, marinating it (especially with some acid) breaks down some of those fibers and gives you a more tender piece when it’s cooked. Cooking fast/hot works well with this type of cut–low and slow will give you tough and rubbery.
Chicken soup is always good on a day when you are feeling sick. I made 3-9: Mexican Chicken Soup on a really hot day, basically the worst type of day to make chicken soup. I was able to freeze and store all of this soup for future meals. Later on in the week that I made this soup, I caught a nasty cold and having a stockpile of chicken soup really helped me feel better.
The spice mixture is the only part of this soup that is remotely Mexican.
Editor’s note: Simply Delicious has another “Mexican” soup–check out 3-15: Quick Mexican Soup if you want what is essentially a ground-beef version of this soup.
Simply Delicious has a lot of different kinds of recipes–intricate & laborious French-inspired cuisine as well as simple, weeknight-friendly fare. 3-15: Quick Mexican Soup is obviously (given the name) one of the latter types. Of course, I’ve yet to find a recipe that I don’t make some sort of tweak/edit to, and this recipe will be no different. 🌶
Most Simply Delicious recipes that claim to be Mexican tend to be more “Tex-Mex” than authentically Mexican. I grew up in Los Angeles–real Mexican food is a BIG part of life there. I’m not saying I’m anywhere close to an expert on the subject, but I feel like I’ve got some sense of the cuisine. Simply Delicious has an ideaof where they were going with this soup–I’m just going to help it along a bit. 🇲🇽
This recipe card gave me an excuse to cook up a big ol’ batch of 9-14: Chili Con Carne, not that I needed an excuse. I’ve made a few pots of chili in my day, but not one quite like this. My favorite episode of the Simpsons, entitled El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (The Mysterious Voyage of Homer), features a chili cook-off as a vital plot point. The infamous space coyote scene still cracks me up to this day. 😹
With the peppers featured prominently on the front of the recipe card, Simply Delicious has pointed out the one major issue I had with this dish. WHO PUTS BELL PEPPER IN CHILI? 🌶 Jamie and I enjoy a little spice in our chili. I’ve always wanted to try adding a pepper akin to the “Merciless Pepper of Quetzalacatenango … grown deep in the jungle primeval by the inmates of a Guatemalan insane asylum.” 🌶
9-2: Mexican Fiesta sounds exciting, but it’s really just poorly layered nachos. I know that they were trying to make it seem like a casserole, but all the good stuff that goes in tacos/nachos is basically layered in a pan and covered with a layer of chips on top–I think you eat it like a dip? 🌮
I like the touch of the Corona with a lime in the background of their picture, like all of a sudden that makes it a party. I can’t think of too many decent Mexican places that would serve something like this, but if you want something festive yet inoffensive for a party or a lengthy Netflix session, I suppose this recipe could get the job done. 🌶