Food & Drink Magazine

Beefaroni from Scratch

By Mariealicerayner @MarieRynr
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When I was a child I used to feel really hard done by because my mother would never buy us things that we saw advertised on the telly like . . .  Stove Top Stuffing, or Kraft Macaroni and Cheese . . .  or  Beefaroni by Chef Boyardee.  Those things looked really good and the ads were mesmerising.   They did their job in wanting us to buy what they were selling.

And I confess, whenever I fly home, I treat myself to a couple of the little pots that you can buy now that you just heat up in the microwave of the Beefaroni as well as the Spaghetti and Meatballs.  After all if it's good enough for hoards of Italian children, then it's good enough for me!  *wink*
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In any case I found a recipe the other day for Home-made Beefaroni, on a page called Cooking for Stolen Moments. And I thought why not give it a go.  It looked pretty close to the real deal and I was having a craving.  You know what happens then . . .  when you got a craving, you just got to feed it.  To heck with the pasta hating gobbles it up  husband.  (Me thinks he actually doth protest too much)
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It actually turned out really good and was pretty close to the original I reckon.  I made a few modifications of my own.  I added a beef stock pot for extra beefy flavour, and I cut the recipe in half.  I also used Passatta (creamed tomatoes) instead of tomato sauce.
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I also used less sugar, and dried basil and dried oregano instead of Italian seasoning.  Even at half the recipe, it made a ton!  Todd and I both had hearty helpings and Mitzie had some as well, and there was still some left!  So half the recipe very generously served 4 and those are the quantities I have given here.
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If anything it was better than the original beef-aroni from the tin  . . .  for one the pasta was al dente and for two the sauce had a nice rich tomato flavor.  Half a pound of extra lean mince was just the right amount so it was also a very economical meal.  If you wanted to you could pile it into a casserole and top it with cheese and bake it, but then it wouldn't be like Chef Boyardee would it?  In any case it was really, really good.
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*Homemade Beefaroni*
Serves about 4 peoplePrintable Recipe

This comes very close to the flavor of the stuff in the tin and is a great way to make a small amount of meat stretch quite far.  Delicious, economical and easy to make.1/2 pound extra lean ground steak mince1 500g carton of tomato passata (pureed tomatoes, about 2 cups)90g of finely grated fresh Parmesan Cheese (1/2 cup)60ml of water (14 cup)1 heaped teaspoon of sugar1/2 tsp garlic powder1/2 tsp onion powder1/2 tsp freeze dried oregano flakes1/2 tsp freeze dried basil flakes1 beef stock pot or cube (crumble the cube)black pepper and salt to taste1/2 pound of macaroni  

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Put a pot of lightly salted water onto boil.   Brown the beef in medium sized deep skillet, mashing it well in with a fork.  You don't want too many big lumps.   Add the remaining ingredients with the exception of the macaroni.  Save the salt and pepper for later.   Bring to the boil, then reduce to a slow simmer.  Cover and simmer for  10 to 15 minutes so that all the flavours blend well together.   

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At the end of that time taste and adjust seasoning as needed with some salt and pepper.  Cook the macaroni in the boiling salted water according to the package directions.   Drain well and rise.  Stir into the meat sauce, stirring to coat the macaroni well.  Serve  hot.

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