And so, nine years later, we revisit my Aunt Buzz’s Fractured Taco Casserole.
I have taken a few more steps away from my favorite Aunt’s 1960’s casserole; adding refried black beans to the taco meat and using tortilla chips in place of the Doritos.
In truth, I used leftover taco meat and refried beans from making a Taco Za for dinner earlier in the week, but the resulting casserole was so very good that I believe that this is how I will make this going forward.
If my aunt were alive, it’d kill her.
She never cared for me “gorping up” her recipes, but, well, this is good!
Just in case you don’t have leftovers from making a Taco Za, where you combine the leftover taco meat and refried beans together to make the bottom layer; here’s how to make it from scratch.
•1 tbsp olive oil
•1 lb ground beef (I use meatloaf mix)
•1 cup diced onion
•1 cup shredded cabbage (coleslaw mix)
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*
•1 pkg taco seasoning mix
•1 cup water or beer
•1 can refried black beans
•1/2 cup salsa
•Grape tomatoes, quartered
•Diced sweet onion
•8 oz shredded cheese (I used Colby Jack)
•Tortilla chips, smashed
*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! Simply add a bit of decent sherry (none of that “cooking” stuff) and a dash or three of your fave hot sauce, to taste.
Add the olive oil to a pan and warm over medium high heat. Add the cup of onion and shredded coleslaw mix, tossing to coat with the oil and cook for five minutes or so, stirring often.
Stir in the Sherry Peppers Sauce and then add ground meat and cook until no longer pink.
Whisk taco mix into the water or beer, then add to the pan.
Bring to a boil, stirring often, then simmer until most of the liquid has cooked off.
While you are doing this, heat the refried beans in the ‘wave until they are loosened up, then stir in the salsa.
Stir the refried beans into the taco meat and spread in the bottom of a 2-1/2 quart baking dish.
Top this with the shredded cheese.
Toss the quartered tomatoes together with diced sweet onion, then arrange on top of the cheese.
Smash a couple of good handfuls of the tortilla chips, then scatter these on top of the casserole to cover.
Bake in a hot 350º oven for 30 minutes, until heated through.
Remove from the oven and let rest for five minutes or so before serving with shredded lettuce and ranch dressing (my preference) and/or sour cream (my husband’s choice) on top.
To make this an official Aunt Buzz dinner (even with all the liberties I have taken with her recipe), serve with Horseradish and Citrus Salad on the side.
Yeh, I know, horseradish and jello in a mold, but, it is really nice, and goes perfectly with this casserole.