Beefaroni from Scratch

Friday 9 May 2014

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When I was a child I used to feel really hard done by because my mother would never buy us things that we saw advertised on the telly like . . .  Stove Top Stuffing, or Kraft Macaroni and Cheese . . .  or  Beefaroni by Chef Boyardee.  Those things looked really good and the ads were mesmerising.   They did their job in wanting us to buy what they were selling.

And I confess, whenever I fly home, I treat myself to a couple of the little pots that you can buy now that you just heat up in the microwave of the Beefaroni as well as the Spaghetti and Meatballs.  After all if it's good enough for hoards of Italian children, then it's good enough for me!  *wink*

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In any case I found a recipe the other day for Home-made Beefaroni, on a page called Cooking for Stolen Moments. And I thought why not give it a go.  It looked pretty close to the real deal and I was having a craving.  You know what happens then . . .  when you got a craving, you just got to feed it.  To heck with the pasta hating gobbles it up  husband.  (Me thinks he actually doth protest too much)

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It actually turned out really good and was pretty close to the original I reckon.  I made a few modifications of my own.  I added a beef stock pot for extra beefy flavour, and I cut the recipe in half.  I also used Passatta (creamed tomatoes) instead of tomato sauce.

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I also used less sugar, and dried basil and dried oregano instead of Italian seasoning.  Even at half the recipe, it made a ton!  Todd and I both had hearty helpings and Mitzie had some as well, and there was still some left!  So half the recipe very generously served 4 and those are the quantities I have given here.

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If anything it was better than the original beef-aroni from the tin  . . .  for one the pasta was al dente and for two the sauce had a nice rich tomato flavour.  Half a pound of extra lean mince was just the right amount so it was also a very economical meal.  If you wanted to you could pile it into a casserole and top it with cheese and bake it, but then it wouldn't be like Chef Boyardee would it?  In any case it was really, really good.

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*Homemade Beefaroni*
Serves about 4 people

This comes very close to the flavour of the stuff in the tin and is a 
great way to make a small amount of meat stretch quite far.  
Delicious, economical and easy to make.

1/2 pound extra lean ground steak mince
1 500g carton of tomato passata (pureed tomatoes, about 2 cups)
90g of finely grated fresh Parmesan Cheese (1/2 cup)
60ml of water (1/4 cup)
1 heaped teaspoon of sugar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp freeze dried oregano flakes
1/2 tsp freeze dried basil flakes
1 beef stock pot or cube (crumble the cube)
black pepper and salt to taste
1/2 pound of macaroni  

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Put a pot of lightly salted water onto boil.   
Brown the beef in medium sized deep skillet, 
mashing it well in with a fork.  You don't want too many big lumps.   
Add the remaining ingredients 
with the exception of the macaroni.  Save the salt and pepper for later.   
Bring to the boil, 
then reduce to a slow simmer.  Cover and simmer for  10 to 15 minutes 
so that all the flavours 
blend well together.   

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At the end of that time taste and 
adjust seasoning as needed 
with some salt and pepper.  Cook the macaroni in the 
boiling salted water according to the package 
directions.   Drain well and rise.  
Stir into the meat sauce, stirring to coat the macaroni well.  
Serve  hot.


  1. Looks great Marie and one the whole family will enjoy x

  2. It's a real money saver too Angela!

  3. I like Chef Boyardee, I like the ravioli and the Pizza kit, lol, and I'm not ashamed to say it, lol, it was the first pizza I had ever eaten, we still buy the ravioli now and then, this recipe sounds really good, I could eat it everyday til it was gone, I love pasta, I certainly didn't get this butt eating lettuce,

  4. I never grew up with this.. I know it existed in my kids days..did it in ours?
    I can't remember.. I do remember from my own children's days..the sugar was the kicker:)

  5. LOL Laurie! I didn't get my butt by eating lettuce either, although I am sure your butt is not as big as my butt! I am not ashamed to say I love it as well. I miss the pizza mixes over here.

    It was in our shops Monique, but my mom never bought it. We finally were allowed to buy the pizza mixes when I was a teenager. I can't believe I had never tasted pizza until I was almost 17!

  6. This looks like a real home run!

  7. Thanks Mary!! It was very, very good!

  8. Loved the spaghetti and meatballs!


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