Mexican Ground Beef Casserole with Rice

Mexican Ground Beef Casserole with Rice


Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion , finely chopped
3 garlic cloves , minced
500g (1 lb) ground beef (mince), lean
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 1/4 cup long grain white rice , uncooked (Note 1)
2.5 cups (625 ml) chicken broth/stock , low sodium
400g (14oz) can corn kernels , drained (Note 2)
400g (14oz) can black beans , drained (or other beans)
1 capsicum/bell pepper , diced
1 cup green onions/shallots
2 cups (200g) cheese , shredded (anything that melts! Note 3)

MEXICAN SPICES:

0.5 tsp cayenne pepper (Note 4)
1.5 tbsp dried oregano
3 tsp cumin
3 tsp coriander
3 tsp onion powder
2 tsp paprika
1.5 tsp salt

Instructions

Heat oil in a large pot over high heat. Add garlic and onion, cook 1 1/2 minutes until onion is translucent.
Add beef and cook, breaking it up as you go, until you no longer see raw meat (about 2 minutes).
Add Mexican Spices and cook for 30 seconds.
Add capsicum and cook for 1 minute.
Add tomato paste and broth, stir to mix in.
Add rice, corn and black beans.
Stir, bring to simmer then cover and lower heat to medium low (simmering gently). Cook 15 minutes.
Remove lid, quickly stir through green onion and HALF the cheese.
Smooth top then sprinkle on remaining cheese. Cover and leave for 1 minute just to melt cheese.
Remove from stove and serve immediately, garnished with more green onion if desired.

Recipe Notes:
1. Rice – recipe works best with long grain white rice. Will also work with medium or short white rice grain, “standard” (unspecified) white rice, jasmine* or basmati rice*. Recipe as written won’t work with: brown rice, wild rice, risotto, paella rice, quinoa.
2. Corn – can also use frozen, 1 3/4 cups.
3. Cheese – use anything that melts! Cheddar, mozzarella, tasty, Monterey Jack, Colby.
4. Cayenne adds spiciness, this amount across a vast volume of rice is barely noticeable. Increase or eliminate if desired.
5. Leftovers will keep for 3 days in the fridge, reheat in microwave. I haven’t tried freezing but I don’t see why it wouldn’t freeze ok!
6. Nutrition per serving, this is quite a generous serving (about 2 packed cups, and it’s dense so very filling!). Every cup of cheese adds 100 calories per serving, so if you want to cut back on calories, halve the cheese (don’t skip completely!).