Stack-A-Dinner

Friday 31 May 2024

 



Stack-A-Dinner. Imagine a dish that layers the comforting textures and flavors of home, all rolled into a single, mouthwatering masterpiece.  Imagine also that it is simple, quick and easy to make, and that it uses simple, ordinary, everyday store cupboard ingredients.


This Stack-A-Dinner recipe which I am sharing with you today comes from an old Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook entitled the Ground Meat Cookbook.  It was a part of a cookbook library that was sold in the early to late 1970's.  I can remember saving my allowance and babysitting money to purchase the volumes one by one. Sadly all of my books got left in the U.K. when I had to come back to Canada, but I have managed to find some gently used copies and have been collecting my favorite volumes once again.



Stack-A-Dinner 





This quick, easy and simple dish is composed of a base of fluffy seasoned and buttered rice, each grain cooked to perfection.  This is topped with a rich and savory ground beef mixture, seasoned to perfection with herbs and spice.



This gets topped with a tasty layer of sweet green peas, their freshness adding a delightful contrast to everything else and a beautiful pop of color.



Finally, the dish is crowned with a generous sprinkle of cheese, which melts from the heat of everything else, creating a gooey, golden blanket that binds all of the layers together in delicious harmony.





Stack-A-Dinner 






When my children were growing up, they always enjoyed this simple supper dish.  I enjoyed making it for them. It was easy to make and it was really budget friendly.  It was also very adaptable to people's tastes.  If someone didn't like peas, a layer of sweet corn was a great substitute.



You can make it with any kind of ground meat, although beef is the usual choice.  Myself, I prefer it with ground turkey, but truth be told, it is delicious no matter what you choose.




Also known as Haystack Dinner, this supper dish is quick and easy to make,  economical, simple, delicious and family friendly.  Easy to make ahead.  Nobody but you needs to know how simple this really is.  You really can't ask for much better than that!



Stack-A-Dinner 




WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE STACK-A-DINNER


Just a few simple store cupboard ingredients.  It is also easy to adapt them to whatever you have on hand or what you family enjoys as well.


For the meat:
  • 1 pound (453g) extra lean ground beef
  • 1 tsp oil (I use light olive oil)
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 8-ounce (227g) tomato sauce (In the U.K. tomato passata)
  • 1/4 cup (60g) tomato ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves, rubbed between your fingers
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 3 drops of Tabasco sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
For the rice:
  • 2 cups (94g) uncooked long grain rice
  • 4 cups (960ml) water
  • 1 TBS butter
  • Salt to taste
You will also need:
  • 1 (10 ounce/284g) frozen baby peas
  • 1 cup (85g) grated strong cheddar cheese
  • Sliced pimento stuffed olives (optional)

Stack-A-Dinner 



I used extra lean ground beef that we bought at a new place which just opened up down the street from me. It is organic and grass fed, at $7.95 a pound.   If you wanted to you could also use ground turkey, chicken, or pork, or even a vegan ground meat substitute in it's place.


It calls for tomato sauce. In the UK that is ketchup, but if you are in the UK, do not use ketchup for the tomato sauce called for. Use tomato passata.   In North America tomato sauce and ketchup are not the same thing. You will also need some tomato ketchup but a much smaller amount.





Stack-A-Dinner 





You can use whatever favorite hot sauce, to the quantities that you wish for this dish. A few drops is usually sufficient for those who don't like their food overly hot. Sriracha sauce is nice and has a lovely garlic kick to it. I used Tabasco.



I used Uncle Ben's Converted rice, cooked according to the instructions on the package. I have an old pampered chef rice cooker which cooks the rice in the microwave. Turns out perfect every time.


I used PC Organic baby English Peas.  I like them.  


I used a strong cheddar cheese for on top. The original recipe called for process American cheese. We don't have that here, and I prefer real cheddar anyways. You can use the processed if you would rather.



Stack-A-Dinner


 

HOW TO MAKE STACK-A-DINNER

This is such a simple dinner to make. You can easily make all of the elements up ahead of time and then just reheat and layer up when you want to eat dinner. It is also easy to make up portions and set them aside to be reheated for the late-comers!



Heat the oil in a skillet. When hot crumble in the ground beef and scramble fry until beginning to brown.



Add the onion and garlic. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the beef is completely browned and the onions and garlic are softened.



Add the oregano, hot pepper sauce, tomato sauce and tomato ketchup. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, while you cook the rice. Don't let it go dry. If you think it is drying out too much, add a bit of water or beef stock. You want a thickish mixture that is a tiny bit saucy.






Stack-A-Dinner 



While the beef is cooking cook the rice according to the package directions. When done season to taste with some salt and a tablespoon of butter.



Cook the peas following the package directions. Taste the meat mixture and season as desired with salt and pepper.



On individual heated serving plates, layer hot cooked rice, a portion of the meat sauce, cooked peas and a portion of the grated cheese. Serve immediately.

Stack-A-Dinner


Ground beef is such an economical and adaptable protein that lends itself to a multitude of amazing recipes, but . . . with anything, it can be very easy to fall into a recipe rut where you end up cooking the same old things time and time again.  It never hurts to share some new ideas, or even new old ideas! Here are a few more favorites!


STREET STYLE BEEF TACOSDelicious, perfectly spiced chopped steak served on homemade tortillas with all of your favorite taco toppings.  Also included is a recipe for your own homemade Avocado Cream to top them with. These are quite simply one of my favorite tacos.  Not too spicy, although if you are a lover of heat you can certainly amp them up.  These are fantastically tasty!


OVEN HASHEconomical and honest ingredients combined to make a delicious meal that your family will love. Not a hash with potatoes, but a delicious mixture of spiced minced beef, baked with tomatoes, onions and noodles. Comfort food. Family food. Simple, maybe . . . but never plain. This is an old favorite from the Betty Crocker Cookbook. You cannot fault it in any way. Its also very easy to make it your own with a bit of this and a bit of that. I love recipes like that!



Yield: 6 servings
Author: Marie Rayner
Stack-A-Dinner

Stack-A-Dinner

Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 25 MinTotal time: 35 Min
Imagine a dish that layers the comforting textures and flavors of home into a single mouthwatering masterpiece. This is the dish. Fluffy rice on the bottom, topped with a flavor-filled ground beef mixture, sweet peas and grated cheese. This is simply delicious.

Ingredients

For the meat:
  • 1 pound (453g) extra lean ground beef
  • 1 tsp oil (I use light olive oil)
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 8-ounce (227g) tomato sauce (In the U.K. tomato passata)
  • 1/4 cup (60g) tomato ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves, rubbed between your fingers
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 3 drops of Tabasco sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
For the rice:
  • 2 cups (94g) uncooked long grain rice
  • 4 cups (960ml) water
  • 1 TBS butter
  • Salt to taste
You will also need:
  • 1 (10 ounce/284g) frozen baby peas
  • 1 cup (85g) grated strong cheddar cheese
  • Sliced pimento stuffed olives (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a skillet. When hot crumble in the ground beef and scramble fry until beginning to brown.
  2. Add the onion and garlic. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the beef is completely browned and the onions and garlic are softened.
  3. Add the oregano, hot pepper sauce, tomato sauce and tomato ketchup. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, while you cook the rice. Don't let it go dry. If you think it is drying out too much, add a bit of water or beef stock. You want a thickish mixture that is a tiny bit saucy.
  4. While the beef is cooking cook the rice according to the package directions. When done season to taste with some salt and a tablespoon of butter.
  5. Cook the peas following the package directions.
  6. Taste the meat mixture and season as desired with salt and pepper.
  7. On individual heated serving plates, layer hot cooked rice, a portion of the meat sauce, cooked peas and a portion of the grated cheese. Serve immediately.
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @marierayner5530 on instagram and hashtag it #TheEnglishKitchen
Stack-A-Dinner



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5 comments

  1. I really appreciate you sharing this recipe! I use to make it frequently in the ‘80’s for my girls and I especially liked it. In fact, I had been thinking about it and craving it. I had another “go to” recipe back then that included ground beef, pork and beans, onions, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard. That one I always added a salad of some sort with it. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That also sounds like an interesting dish! I will be on the lookout for it! I do have a few older books that I could check! I hope you make this recipe and that it brings back some fond memories! Thank you! xo

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    2. Sorry that was me! I am not sure why but my computer didn't sign me in!

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  2. Would it be possible for someone to send you some of your books or other possessions or did you have to sell them?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am not sure what happened to any of my stuff. It was a very complicated situation! But that's okay. Stuff is just stuff! xo

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