‘Mans’ Casserole

Let’s get this right out in the open. This might be the worst name for a recipe. Ever. I realize this came from a different time; the different ideas of society and different ideas of gender roles. I imagine the name depicts a hearty meal – something that the ranch hands and cowboys would be able to fill up on to sustain themselves. But it is still such an unfortunate name.

Oddly, this is another recipe that we use quite a bit and it’s interesting to see how it’s changed over the years. The way my mom taught me is far simpler and quicker. I didn’t even know that ‘liquefied nonfat dry milk’ was even in the original version. 

The best part of this post was that I got to make and share this meal with a local family that’s been hit hard from the pandemic. A good friend of mine, along with local churches and restaurants, have teamed up to feed as many people possible. I had reached out the other day to see if she needed any help and as luck would have it – there was a family that still needed a meal. 

Since this was going to be delivered to another family – and not my unsuspecting guinea pigs of a family – I decided to go with the way I’ve always done it. I wanted to make sure it worked and that it would be tasty. Also…nonfat dry milk- not something I keep in the pantry. (I had to look up what the hell it was)

It is a rather easy meal to put together. Saute the onions and brown the beef and drain off. You can get wild here with the beef and add whatever spices or flavors you like, or just keep it easy: salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, a touch of garlic powder. Turn off the heat and dump the entire can of cream of celery and two eggs into the mixture and mix it up. It’s not attractive at this point. Sort of a gloppy mess.

The recipe calls for layering – which is not something I’ve ever done. I take the whole pot of meat stuff, dump it into the pot with the noodles and mix it all and transfer to a casserole dish. Top the whole thing with an enormous amount of cheese. Like a lot of cheese. When you’ve added enough – add a touch more. It’s cheese y’all.

Bake at 350 for 30 to 45 minutes. Cheese should be slightly crispy on top.

This is one of my go-to recipes for lunch at the office…..when I used to have an office to go to! I would make it on the weekend and then packaged servings to take to work. I loved having my lunches sorted throughout the week and it heats up super easy in the microwave.

All of that said…it’s still a terrible name for a recipe. I have another recipe that I use from time to time called ‘Man Pleasing Chicken’…can’t decide which is worse.

Being able to help another family in need was a really gratifying experience. Despite being laid off, I truly know that we are luckier than some. We are very fortunate to have what we do. I encourage all of you to please take a moment to check out HerndonCares.Org. If you can donate, please do.

And if you’ve got a better name for this dish – please feel free to let me know. Seriously.

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