9-21: Chili Beef Casserole

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”.

There’s another great illustration of the ingredients on the recipe card. I don’t keep my salt in a jar like that, but it’s a nice looking jar.

I’d have a hard time telling the ingredients apart from a basic chili recipe. I really liked the Birds Eye Southwest Style mix.

My slicing skills have improved to where this amount of preparation takes about 10 minutes. I’m guessing Jamie could break it down faster.

The glistening peppers and onions covered in melted butter will soften after they cook for a while in the skillet.

My how they have softened! Time to combine the ingredients together to form the casserole.

I microwaved the lentil mix first and combined it with the peppers while I reused the pan to start sautéeing the ground beef.

This photo was taken just after I put the beef into the pan. It just started to get some color. Let it sizzle away for a few more minutes.

The browned meat smells amazing at this point. Rendered fat from the ground beef is going to help flavor the vegetables in the casserole.

Now everything goes in the pan: the spices, the garlic, salt, pepper, and olives. Stirring it all together is the final step!

This casserole was tasty on its own, but was vastly improved by topping a heaping helping of it with lactose-free sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese. I wish it had a tomato sauce and some cumin in it so it would just be a chili, but I made the dish as close to the recipe as I could to experience it the way the editors of Simply Delicious intended.

Grade: B+