Homemade Hamburger Helper
Think of this as the most luxurious Hamburger Helper you’ve ever had. It’s how Mark Rosati, the culinary director of Shake Shack, turns leftover ground beef into a complete weeknight dinner. The entire dish — even the pasta — is made in one pot, and melds the indelible comfort of macaroni and cheese with the complexity of a good Bolognese. This definitely has a kick, so adjust the hot sauce according to taste.
- Serves: 4 persons
- ¼cup neutral oil, such as canola or vegetable
- 1large yellow onion, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 3garlic cloves, minced
- 5strips uncooked smoked bacon, finely chopped
- 1pound ground beef
- 1cup dry white wine
- 3cups chicken stock or water
- ¾cup heavy cream
- ¼to 1/3 cup hot sauce
- 2teaspoons hot smoked paprika
- 1bay leaf
- 8ounces elbow pasta
- 5slices American cheese, ripped into small pieces
- 1 ½cups grated Cheddar
- ½cup finely chopped chives
Step 1Heat a large (12-inch) sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium-low heat, and add oil and onion; season lightly with salt and pepper. (The hot sauce added in Step 6 will add a lot of flavor, so be careful not to overseason here.) Let cook until the onions turn light beige in color and begin to caramelize, 20 to 25 minutes.
Step 2Add garlic, and cook until fragrant and starting to brown ever so slightly, about 2 minutes.
Step 3Increase heat to medium-high and add bacon and ground beef, using the back of a large spoon to break up the meat into smaller pieces. Continue to cook until the liquid has mostly evaporated and the meat starts to sear and develop a crust on the bottom of the pan, 12 to 15 minutes.
Step 4Remove pan from the heat and carefully drain off most of the fat, leaving a little in the pan to keep the meat moist.
Step 5Return pan to the medium-high heat and add white wine, allowing it to reduce until the mixture is almost dry, about 10 minutes.
Step 6Add the chicken stock, heavy cream, hot sauce, paprika and bay leaf to the pan. Mix until combined and bring to a boil over medium-high.
Step 7Once the mixture is boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente, stirring often, about 9 minutes.
Step 8Reduce the heat to low and stir in both types of cheese, stirring until completely melted and sauce is thickened.
Step 9Remove the pan from heat, stir in chives and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.