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CARLA HALL Mama’s Hamburger Help-Me Meal

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Whip up this quick & delicious meal in no time!

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion (finely diced)
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups drained canned diced tomatoes
3/4 cup chicken stock (unsalted, plus more as needed)
1 pound elbow macaroni
1/2 pound sharp cheddar cheese (grated, 2 cups)
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves (chopped)
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Heat the oil, then add the onion and season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute.
Add the beef, oregano, and cayenne and season generously with salt and pepper. You need to season the beef well at this point because the seasonings won’t get in there if you add them later. Cook, stirring to break the meat up into little pieces, until cooked through, about 7 minutes. Drain the fat out of the pan and discard.
Sprinkle the flour over the beef and stir until well mixed. Stir in the tomatoes and stock. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Simmer hard over medium heat for 10 minutes.
While the beef simmers, add the macaroni and 1 teaspoon salt to the boiling water. Cook a minute less than the label directs and drain well.
Stir into beef. Stir in half of the cheese. If the mixture is too thick and stiff, stir in more stock to loosen it up.
Divide among serving bowls and top with the parsley and remaining cheese. Serve immediately.
Helpful Tip: make sure to brown beef well, to create ultimate flavor.

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