Friday, May 3, 2013

"The New Hamburger & Hot Dog Cookbook" - Chuck Wagon Western Bean (and weenie) Casserole

Date I made this recipe:  April 28, 2013

The New Hamburger & Hot Dog Cookbook by Mettja C. Roate
Published by:  Weathervane Books
©1965 (Hamburger) Part I through page 152; © 1975 (Hot Dog) Part II through Chapter XXI
Recipe:  Chuck Wagon Western Bean Casserole – p. 28

Okay, I know I’m a little weather obsessed, but when temperatures hit the high 70’s, then it’s about time we have some picnic food, am I right?  Right!  That said, I do believe I jinxed the weather by making this dish when the weather was warm two days ago, because today, May 1st, the day I am writing this recap, it is fixing to snow.  It is actually fixing to snow another 6 to 8 inches.  On May Day.  Nature hates us.

But for one, brief shining moment there, it seemed like spring and if you listened carefully, you could hear the “whoosh” of grills firing up all over the Twin Cities.  When you’ve had enough, you’ve had enough and we had had enough and so dam the torpedoes, the grills are coming out! (Well not my grill because it needs a few tweaks but you get my drift.)

Now silly me thought that a book featuring hamburger and hot dog recipes would somehow have one that combines hamburger and hot dogs but sadly, there was only one recipe that did so and it was a Hot Dog and Beef Loaf. One look at my husband’s face suggested no way was that gracing the dinner table.  It sounds like it is similar to a meat loaf but nuh uh, nope, he was not buying it.  I refrained from mentioning that there was a Jellied Hot Dog recipe that we could have, mostly because even I didn’t want to eat that thing. 

Part of the problem, if it is a problem, is that the hamburger section of this book was written in 1965 and the hot dog portion in 1975, so it sounds like these two sections were never meant to be together.  But some crafty marketing person at Weathervane Books did what many people do – throw the word “New” in the title and you have yourself a whole new product.  But this only solved part of the problem, right because I was still looking for a recipe using both meats. 

And so dear reader, I created my own version of Chuck Wagon beans using both hamburger and hot dogs and ta-dah – instant hit!  And it was so easy – make the recipe as directed and then fold in hot dogs (diced small so they fit in the casserole dish) and what the heck – throw some sliced hot dogs on top for good measure and decoration. 

The other reason I selected this recipe is for pure nostalgic reasons:  I cannot remember a potluck in my childhood that didn’t feature some sort of beef and bean bake.  My mother made doctored-up baked beans but never added beef and so getting this at a potluck was a real treat.  Several grocery stores now carry a version of this dish so if I need to satisfy my craving in a hurry, I just head right to the deli.  But if you want to take a moment to make a picnic in a bowl, this is the dish for you: it’s got ketchup, mustard, beans, hamburger and, compliments of Ann, hot dogs.  Perfect!

Now…if only I could do something about this weather…. (Breaking weather update:  It is now May 3rd and it is snowing.  That is all.)

Chuck Wagon Western Bean (and Weenie) Casserole – serving size not given
1 pound hamburger
1 #4 can pork and beans (*see notes below)
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 large onion
½ cup catsup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

*a #4 can is roughly equivalent to 5 cups. 
The author suggests variations as follows:
  • Substitute 1 #2 can butter beans and 1 #2 can pork and beans for the #4 can of pork and beans. (a #2 can is roughly 2.5 cups or 1 lb 4 oz.).  I used this substitution.
  • Substitute 1 #2 can black-eyed peas and 1 #2 can pork and beans for the #4 can of pork and beans.
  • Substitute 1 #2 can chicken peas and 1 #2 can pork and beans for the #4 can pork and beans.
  • Substitute 1 #2 can lima beans and 1 #2 can pork and beans for the #4 can of pork and beans.
  • Substitute 1 #2 can pork and beans and 1 #2 can macaroni and cheese for the #4 can pork and beans.
  • Substitute 1 #2 can pork and beans and 1 #2 can spaghetti for the #4 can of pork and beans.

Sauté the hamburger until quite brown and separated.  Drain off any excess fat.  Add the beans and the other ingredients.  Stir well, taking care not to mash up the beans in the process.  Place in a 1 ½-quart covered casserole dish in a preheated 350F oven for 40 minutes.

No comments: