Monday, September 23, 2019

Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole

  Every year, when the weather begins to change from Summer to Fall, my first thought isn't just the change of seasons, but also the change of MENU! Yes of course, I love all the warm spices, (I love pumpkin spice everything!) But more than anything, I start to think of casseroles! Warm, homey, satisfying, stick to your ribs, cheesy, creamy casseroles! Now, usually, this is when I'm already testing casserole ideas for Thanksgiving, but this time I thought "Lets do an easy midweek dinner casserole before we start thinking about holiday family feasts." And that's exactly what we have here.
 This is my tweaked version of a recipe I found on a blog called it was just exactly what I had in mind. Cheesy, ooey gooey, and bacon. What's not to love?
 So if you're a cheeseburger lover, this one's for you. Added bonus, if you happen to be doing Keto or low carb, this one's for you too!

6 pieces of bacon
1 onion, chopped
2 lbs ground beef
Splash of Worcestershire sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 oz cream cheese
Pepper to taste
4 eggs
2 cups cheddar cheese
2 tbs mustard
1 cup milk
Ketchup and dill pickles for serving

Heat oven to 350ºF.
In a large skillet, saute strips of bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and set aside on paper towel to drain.
Add chopped onions to skillet. Saute in bacon fat until they begin to soften. Add ground beef. Cook and stir, breaking up the beef until it's brown. Remove excess fat. Add Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and cream cheese. Cook and stir until cheese melts. Add pepper to taste. Place beef mixture in a 9x13 pan. While the beef is cooking, in a separate bowl, combine eggs, cheese, mustard, and milk.
Spread over beef mixture.
Bake 20 minutes. Top with crumbled bacon. Bake an additional 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 10-15 minutes.  Serve with a squeeze of ketchup and a few dill pickles.

The thing that makes this taste like a cheeseburger is the Worcestershire sauce. So be sure to include it! Well, that, and the mustard and ketchup. I actually debated on whether or not to add the ketchup right into the casserole, but opted to serve it alongside the casserole with the dill pickles. This way, you can add as much or as little ketchup as you like. Full disclosure, I like to serve it with an extra little squeeze of mustard as well!
For a little variation, you can swap out half the beef for mild Italian sausage. Just remove it from the casings, or buy bulk sausage that has no casing.You could also swap American cheese for the Cheddar. You do you!
One of the key steps to this recipe is removing the excess fat after browning the meat. The first time I made it, I didn't think there was so much fat from the beef and bacon, so I just left it in. Then I added all the full fat cheeses (and originally heavy cream too, instead of milk, if I'm being completely honest). The final product was... well, let's just say Chef Anne Burrell would have called it The Exxon Valdez. If your final product turns out to be too oily, don't fret! Just place a few layers of paper towel on top of your casserole and they'll absorb the excess oil. No one needs to know!
 BTW, the original recipe even suggests serving it as a breakfast option. OOO I bet it's great topped with a sunny side egg. Mmmmm Who's with me?

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