I think I’ve made about a million different variations on this Gaucho Casserole. You know, the vaguely Americanized-Mexican dish with some variable combination of ground beef, tomatoes, onions and peppers, rice or flour tortillas, taco seasoning, beans, chili powder, cumin, cilantro, sour cream, and cheese?
You know ‘em… the Enchilada Lasagna, Tex-Mex Rice Bowl, and Skillet Tacos of the world. All that kind of stuff. I’m one of those people without a lot of extra time for cooking during the week that loves these kind of dishes for their ease. I love a one-pot meal. Especially one that packs a flavor punch.
My experience with gauchos is limited to interactions with those who have served me meat at the churrascarias of San Francisco and Chicago. Gaucho is also a loose translation for the North American equivalent of “cowboy,” in South America (source: Wikipedia).
I can imagine the thought process of some corn-growing Midwesterner (no disrespect; I grew up next to a corn field in Michigan!) went something like this
- Gauchos serve me meat at Brazilian Steakhouses.
- Brazil is South America.
- Mexican is vaguely South American. ( Except it’s not.)
- This dish is ever so vaguely Mexican.
- I’ll call it Gaucho Casserole.
I don’t know. But this is called Gaucho Casserole. And it’s full of good stuff. Like beans. I love beans.
This recipe can also be made entirely in the microwave, if one were so inclined. Crazy, right? Just go to the original recipe for the instructions. I opted for preparing it in a skillet, myself.
Five Star SexiMexy recently informed me that no real Mexican food has cheese on it.
Theory debunked. This dish is NOT Mexican. But I think we figured that out a long time ago.
And sour cream, obviously.
This dish was pretty solid. No rocket science going on here, but the dish came together so easily that I could see myself making it again. Tasty leftovers too.
Adapted from Taste of Home
- 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 can (16 ounces) black beans OR kidney beans
- 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 envelope reduced-sodium taco seasoning
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1-1/3 cups uncooked instant rice
- 1/4 cup water
- 4 ounces shredded reduced-fat cheese
- Optional garnishes: sour cream, pickled jalapeños, minced cilantro
- Crumble the beef into a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and green pepper. Sauté until meat is no longer pink; drain.
- Stir in the beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, taco seasoning and chili powder. Cover and microwave simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in rice and water.
- Cover and simmer for 10 minutes until rice is cooked and liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover for another minute or until cheese is melted. Garnish with sour cream, jalapeños, and cilantro if desired.
Yield: Served two hungry adults dinner one night, and both lunch the next day.