OK, not the most photographic food – but it is tasty. I would imagine that most people in the upper Midwest are familiar with Tator Tot Hotdish. A definite winter staple and great for feeding a family. Here is a fun, slightly different twist on that classic recipe.
Now, naturally, being Midwestern, this recipe isn’t too spicy. But it does provide a little kick and a nice change. And of course, you can always top it with jalapenos if you want to add some heat.
1lb ground beef (elk, moose, venison, whatever)
1 small onion (diced)
1 garlic clove (minced)
1 small can black olives (sliced)
1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 (16 ounce) bag frozen corn
1 (4 ounce) can green chilies (diced and drained)
1 (12 ounce) can seasoned pinto beans (drained)
1 (8 ounce) bag shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 (16 ounce) package frozen tater tots
1 (10.5 ounce fluid ounce) can enchilada sauce
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Heat a skillet to medium high heat. Add ground beef, garlic, and onion and cook while breaking the meat apart with a spoon or spatula until the ground beef is completely browned. Drain off any excess fat. Add taco seasoning mix, green chilies, frozen corn, and black beans to the ground beef. Cook until heated through.
Step 2: In a large bowl combine ground beef mixture, ¾ of the Mexican cheese blend, and all of the tater tots. Stir well to combine.
Step 3: Pour about 1/3 of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Add the tater tot mixture to the baking dish and lightly pat the mixture down into a solid, even layer. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the tater tots.
Step 4: Place into the oven and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. During the last few minutes of baking, top the casserole with the remaining Mexican cheese blend and the sliced black olives. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
(Makes a LOT)
Brown your meat. Even if it is super lean. I knew a person who made Tater Tot Hotdish without browning the meat and it will eventually cook, but that grosses me out. Really.
Use a large bowl to combine the specified ingredients. This makes a lot folks!
Follow the instructions and take out near the end. Top with cheese… and
Top only half with black olives if you only have a few people who like black olives. Ahem, not me.
Cheesy, warm, hearty. What more could you want in the dead of winter people?
Feel free to serve immediately. This would be great topped with fresh onions, tomatoes, jalapenos, cilantro or even taco sauce. Make it your own. Enjoy!