Sunday, August 10, 2014

An Easy Cowboy: Fun with an old favorite!

Back in college, slave learned of an easy skillet dinner called “Cowboy”. Simply brown a pound of hamburger in a skillet, drain, and add a can of baked beans! Cheap and easy! Lets face it we have all had fun with someone we know that is “Cheap and Easy”.

A great way to stretch the food budget is to buy hamburger in larger quantities and freeze. At my local supermarket, I'm finding hamburger climbing to over $6 a pound! Might as well put a gun to my head! However if I buy in a package of 4 to 5 pounds the cost might drop to less than $4 a pound!
Since slave is not intending on opening a soup kitchen, it is so much easier to form the meat into ¼ lbs patties on wax paper, then bag in plastic and freeze. Anytime you need to fix a dinner with loose ground beef just thaw 4 and break them apart as you cook!

slave has a tendency to add way too much to the mix when doing hamburgers, when that happens, you get meatloaf nasties that do not stick together nor have any flavor. Trust me on this! So when mixing this latest batch up, slave only added some kosher salt, a touch of pepper, and just a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce to the 3 lbs of meat. You can always add, but rarely subtract!

For this quick meal:
2 thawed hamburger patties.
1 strip of bacon
16 oz can of baked beans (well drained)

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees

Cook the strip of bacon in a medium skillet. Turn about every 3 minutes, you will know it is cooked when you notice there is now bacon grease in the pan. This is where you want it, not in your food!

Take that out to drain on a paper towel. Then use the grease to brown each side of the hamburger patties. This is just for the caramelization. No more than 3 minutes per side.

Then place the patties into a sprayed casserole. Spoon the can of drained baked beans over them. Top with the piece of bacon, you could even cut it up if you wish.

Cover and cook in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes.

Now this is where the hamburger will get completely cooked. The meat will soak up some of that great baked bean flavor.

After a half an hour check it. If you didn't get the beans drained enough, now is a good time to use a big spoon to get some of that liquid out. Check the meat by inserting a thermometer into a beef patty. You want it between 160 and 170 degrees, don't mess with undercooked hamburger.
Put it back in without the cover to finish up. It is even better if it gets a “crust” on top!

You can doctor the beans up first by adding chopped onions, chopped apple and some yellow mustard, or more Worcestershire sauce.
(just like we fixed the baked beans before in the crock pot.)

Maybe even sprinkle a bit of shredded cheese over the top for color and flavor. This is just for some fun anyway, enjoy yourself!
Or just throw it together while you decide on a green vegetable.

Just remember: keep it cheap and easy! This is a cowboy you are gonna be glad you asked home to dinner. :-) (Save a horse!)


To satisfy and restore.
To nourish, support and maintain.
To gratify, spoil, comfort and please,
to nurture, assist, and sustain
..I cook!

Please buy slave's cookbook:

The Little Black Book of Indiscreet Recipes by Dan White via @amazon

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