Sure to keep any cowboy well fed, this delicious casserole is a hearty stew of beef and beans, finished with a golden biscuit crust.
According to the internet, some folks think that a cowboy casserole is one topped with tater tots. What kind of legit steer-wranglin’ dudes have access to frozen tots?! It makes no sense. On the other hand, my version of a Cowboy Casserole is one I think could tangibly have been whipped up in a big cast iron dutch oven atop a roaring campfire (minus the frozen veggies, maybe).
We know you’re not supposed to add beans to Texas chili, but if it’s not technically chili then all bets are off. This beef casserole is made even heartier with the addition of pinto beans, and is colourfully studded by a veg assortment. I choose to use the corn/pea/carrot mix, but really you can use any veggies you like. Broccoli would work be a great substitute, as would edamame and mushrooms, too.
What lies beneath is only made better by the topping – a golden crust of cheddar jalapeno drop biscuits. The biscuits develop a crunchy exterior but remain fluffy and soft inside – they’re also perfect for soaking up all the delicious gravy and making sure nothing goes to waste. In fact, this is a great dish for camping. A one pot wonder where one scoop give you a complete meal.
Brown the beef in batches, seasoning with salt as you cook, then set aside.
Add oil to a large heavy based pot. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Then add in garlic powder and cumin, and return beef to the pot.
Pour in Rotel, tomato sauce, beer (or stock) Worcestershire sauce and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook until liquid has reduced, about 20 minutes.
Stir in frozen vegetables and beans.
In a bowl, combine flour, salt, pepper and baking powder, then cut the butter in using a pastry cutter. You can also do this step in a food processor. Add the milk and stir until just combined, then add the cheddar and jalapenos and stir a few more times until distributed evenly, but do not overwork the dough.
Pour the meat mixture into a deep casserole dish. Use a cookie scoop to spoon the biscuit mix on top. The biscuits will spread out as they cook so leave room in between.
Bake 20-25 minutes until biscuits are golden brown and cooked through.
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