This meal is designed for a weeknight of maybe chilling out and having a cocktail.
It goes great with a margarita….see my classic margarita recipe by clicking HERE
Adjust oven rack to middle most position in your oven and heat to 475º.
Pour mixture into a 8 1/2″ by 5 1/2″ baking dish, smoothing out to cover the bottom of the dish.
Sprinkle 3/4 cup cheese over the bean mixture.
Heat oil in 10-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat until shimmering.
Add onion and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and sautee until onion is softened and just about to brown – about 5 minutes.
Stir in the
and cook till fragrant – about 30 seconds.
Stir in the beef and cook, breaking up the meat to expose all the surface. Cook till no longer pink. – 4-5 minutes.
Stir in remaining Ro-tel, reserved tomato juice, vinegar and sugar.
Bring to a simmer and cook until mixture has thickened and nearly dry.
My mixture never evaporated away the liquid, so I just drained it before proceeding.
Spread the beef mixture in a baking dish.
I layered the remaining refried beans on top of the beef.
Sprinkle with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of cheese – however much you desire.
They are loaded with the “anti-caking” chemicals and some have nitrates (a KNOWN carcinogen).
Instead, I buy the whole blocks of REAL cheese and grate it up myself.
You can scatter tortilla chips over the top, but we prefer to each our like a dip, so I did not add the chips.
Bake until filling is bubbling and top is spotty brown – 8-10 minutes.
Make sure to let casserole sit and cool for 10 minutes, which will allow it to thicken.
Garnish with chopped cilantro.
Chop up some lettuce to sprinkle on top of the casserole to provide a little more depth to the dish.
Although this recipe is geared for two people, we had enough for three portions…