with thanks to Ezra Pound Cake
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
8 ounces macaroni
1 cup (4 ounces) cheddar cheese, grated
Scallions, chopped, for serving (optional)
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute the beef, onions and garlic, breaking apart the meat as you go, until the onions are soft and the meat cooked through. Drain off grease (or not if it’s lean enough) and return pan to heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the beef broth, mustard, ketchup, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Add to meat. Bring the meat mixture to a boil, then add macaroni.
Reduce the heat to medium, and cover. Continue cooking for 10 to 12 minutes, until the pasta is tender. (Note: my medium always seems a bit high on my stove, so I checked it a couple of times during cooking and stirred to make sure the pasta wasn’t sticking to the bottom – which it was. Keep an eye on it.)
When the macaroni is done, sprinkle the grated cheese on top. Stir until melted, about 1 minute, and serve immediately.
Holy moly, people. If everyone discovered how easy and cheap and low-cal it was to make this shockingly good meal from scratch, I swear the boxed “helper” meals would gather dust on the shelves.
I was absolutely floored by this dish and by how much depth of flavor it had for so few ingredients. This will be a lifelong fixture in my household.
Make it make it make it.