Where’s the Beef? Pastor Ryan’s Mexican Lasagna

Some of you have been wondering where the beef is on this here blog, and ladies and gentleman, your day has come.

Where's the Beef?

To welcome my father and brother to the beach, I made Pastor Ryan’s Mexican Lasagna.  As I was putting this dish together, I started getting a little concerned about the taste.  I don’t usually cook with so many ingredients because I find that it’s hard to distinguish one flavor from another when I do.  But this is delicious.  And if I hadn’t used paprika that had been sitting in the cabinets for about five years (no, really), I think it would have been even better.

Old Paprika

As this is a casserole, you can make it ahead of time, sit with your toes in the sand for hours, and bake it when you return to land.  Which is exactly what I did.

I made a lot of modifications to this, but Pastor Ryan said I could.

  • paprika
  • cumin
  • chili Powder
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 giant head of onion
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 ½ C rice
  • flour tortillas (I used 10 for a 9×13 pan)
  • 1 ½ lbs ground beef
  • 4 C Mexican blend shredded cheeses
  • 1 jar salsa verde
  • 1 can enchilada sauce

**Pastor Ryan also adds black beans and corn.  We were having corn salad with dinner, and I don’t like beans, so I left those out**

Begin by making your rice according to the package directions.  Ryan made his with chicken stock.  I didn’t.

Then, chop up the garlic, onions and tomatoes.  If your supermarket isn’t selling giant mutant onions, then chop up two small ‘uns.  Do you know how to chop an onion?  Let the Pioneer Woman help you.  I never have the patience or the strength to chop them this fine.  Too much onion juice floating in the air, and I start to cry.

This is what I got out of one onion!

This is what I got out of one onion!

I was told to cook them for a while to take the sting out of the onions for little eaters.  But I don’t have any of those right now, and I think I’ll just leave the onions next time.

Now for the spices.  I’m told to use 2 parts chili powder to one part paprika and cumin.  This is how one makes taco seasoning, thus unraveling one of the great mysteries of life.  Now I don’t have to buy the little yellow packages anymore.  I’m going to mix up a lot of this when I get home, and just use it as I need it.  Anyway, while everything is cooking, add about 1 T of chili powder and 1 ½ tsps of cumin and paprika.

Then, dump your tomato mixture in with the rice.

Note how clean the stove is.  That's because it's not mine.

Note how clean the stove is. That’s because it’s not mine.

Stir it around, and if you’re sick of cooking, just make some burgers and serve this as a side dish.

Still with me?  The rest is easy.

Brown the beef with a couple of T of water, and another T of chili pwder, and 1 ½ tsps of cumin and paprika.

Now it’s time to layer.  I love this part.

½ jar of salsa verde on the bottom.  Can anyone tell me why my salsa verde is not verde?

Salsa "verde"

Tortillas up next.

Then, spread ½ of the rice mixture over what you have so far.

Now cheese it up.

Cheese it up

Another layer of tortillas.

Drizzle some enchilada sauce here.

Beef.

More rice.

More salsa “verde.”

And more cheese!

Mexican Lasagna

Bake at 375 for 35 minutes.

Who doesn’t love a good casserole?  And who doesn’t love lasagna?

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