Monday, October 7, 2013

BBQ Beef Casserole

It's time for another casserole remix!

This BBQ Beef Casserole is a paleo-upgraded version of a BBQ-beef-with-tater-tots casserole recipe that my sister-in-law shared with CaveBoy back in the poor old days. It's super-economical and comforting after a hard day at work. So much so that CaveBoy overused the recipe when he was a bachelor and swore off of the concept entirely when we moved into our shared Cave.

Now (six years later) he's interested in the idea again. He even weighed in on my debate over topping the casserole with sweet potato rounds or sweet potato mash (because sweet po-tater tots are full of vegetable oil, sugar, and corn starch - ugh). Sweet potato rounds won out. And I'm happy with the result. It's a nice change of texture compared to my other starch-topped paleo casseroles and a little bit more interesting on the plate.

But the real question is: what does my sister-in-law think? This is a riff on her recommendation, after all. I know she's a Silly Little CaveGirl reader (hey girl!) and has tried some of my recipes in the past. I'll let you know if she sends any comments, and if this recipe passes the nephew-test. Fingers crossed!

BBQ Beef Casserole

I was a little too vigorous when I tossed the rounds with butter - and they disintegrated.

For the sauce*:


4 cups beef stock
4 cloves garlic, diced
4 dates, pitted and diced
2 jalapeños, finely diced
1 can tomato paste
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
1/3 cup BBQ dry rub (I like Pork Barrel BBQ - I got it at Costco)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper


In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and jalapeño. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat until onion becomes translucent. Add garlic and cook until it just starts to brown. Pour in beef stock and vinegar. Add dates and bbq seasoning and stir to combine. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer 20 minutes. Stir in tomato paste. Continue simmering until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat.

For the casserole:


3 lbs ground beef
8 small sweet potatoes (or 4 large)
2 yellow onions, diced
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons BBQ dry rub
1 tablespoon olive oil
Garlic powder
Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange sweet potatoes on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees until potato is soft to the touch. About 45 to 55 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool enough to touch. Once cool, cut sweet potato into 1/2 inch thick rounds. Place rounds in a large bowl and toss with melted butter. 

While the sweet potatoes cook, add olive oil and diced onion to a large skillet over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper. Once the onions start to warm through, add the ground beef. Cook over medium heat until beef is browned. Add BBQ dry rub and stir to combine. Remove from heat. Pour browned beef into a medium baking dish. Pour homemade BBQ sauce over meat and spread into an even layer. Arrange buttered sweet potato rounds in a single layer over the BBQ beef. Sprinkle salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Place casserole in oven and bake at 400 degrees until sweet potatoes begin to brown. About 15 minutes. 

*Note: You could modify the sauce recipe to suit your taste - omitting the jalapeño for example. Or, to make the casserole recipe even easier, you could use your favorite bottled paleo BBQ sauce (so many options!).

No comments:

Post a Comment