Sep 23 2011
1 pound ground beef $5.69
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved $3.00
1 onion, diced, divided $0.47
2 tablespoons canola oil $0.14
2 tablespoons butter $0.12
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour $0.04
2 cups milk $0.54
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated, plus 1 cup $3.75
1/2 package elbow macaroni $0.60
2 tablespoons chili powder $2.82
2 tablespoons ground coriander $0.96
2 tablespoons ground cumin $1.50
1 teaspoon hot chili pepper flakes $0.23
1 tablespoon ground mustard $0.09
2 teaspoons salt, plus 2 $0.02
1 teaspoon black pepper $0.01
4 cloves garlic, minced, divided $0.04
Total Cost $20.02
1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
2.) In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons canola oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add 1/2 of the diced onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, just until onion starts to soften.
3.) Add beef to pan, breaking it up as you do. Stir regularly and cook until beef is nearly cooked through. Then add cherry tomatoes and 2 cloves of minced garlic. Stir to combine and cook for about 2 minutes.
4.) Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine: chili powder, cumin, coriander, mustard, hot chili pepper flakes, and two teaspoons of salt. Mix thoroughly to combine and then add 1/2 of the spice mixture to meat, reserving other half for later. Stir meat mixture to combine spice mixture and turn heat to medium-low.
5.) Meanwhile, if water is boiling at this point, add 2 teaspoons of salt and elbow macaroni. Stir, and cook until pasta is just a bit firmer than al dente. Drain when done.
6.) In a separate, medium-sized saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add last 1/2 of diced onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add last 2 cloves of minced garlic and the remaining spice mixture. Stir to thoroughly combine and cook for 1 minute.
7.) To the saucepan, add 2 tablespoons of flour and stir to thoroughly combine all ingredients. Cook for 3 minutes.
8.) Slowly whisk in milk, stirring constantly to break up lumps and to prevent scalding the milk. Bring to a boil then lower heat to medium and simmer until just thickened, about 10 minutes.
9.) Remove milk from heat and slowly add 2 cups grated cheese, about 1/4 cup at a time; stir to fully incorporate after each addition.
10.) Return cooked and drained macaroni to its empty pot. Add meat mixture and cheese sauce; stir to thoroughly combine all ingredients.
11.) Pour pasta mixture into prepared casserole dish, leveling it so the surface is even. Top with 1 cup grated cheddar cheese and place in preheated oven. Cook until cheese is melted and bubbling, about 15 minutes.
12.) Remove from oven and allow to rest for 3 – 5 minutes.
13.) Serve and enjoy!