Cooking with Connie: Saturday Night Special

The following recipe is brought to you by Connie! Make sure to check out additional recipes by Connie at her blog Cook With Connie.

This time of year is busy for everyone. Christmas parties, shopping, decorating, visiting…all in addition to the regularly scheduled chaos that is LIFE! Right now, I’m baking more than I usually do, so I want suppers that are quick, easy stovetop meals. “Saturday Night Special” is the ticket. When I was a kid, my mom used to make this dish. It’s a budget-friendly meal that can easily be thrown together with ingredients from your pantry. She always called it Saturday Night Special, but I honestly have no idea why. We ate it mostly on week nights since it’s so easy and quick to prepare.

The basic dish calls for only a few ingredients, but you can easily change the flavor by varying the tomatoes, corn, and baked beans. You can use tomatoes with green chiles for a little kick. Or use Mexicorn for a zesty Mexican flavor. There are numerous other canned tomatoes with added ingredients or spices, such as fire-roasted or garlic and herbs. And, baked beans come in many flavors, too. There’s anything from bold and spicy to maple bacon flavored. Cans of baked beans tend to go on sale during “cookout” season, so stock up then. Canned pork ‘n’ beans usually cost less than baked beans making them a thrifty choice. So, experiment and find your family’s favorite combination. While the basic recipe for Saturday Night Special is very simple, you can change the flavor every time you make it.

Saturday Night Special

Saturday Night Special

1 lb ground beef (or ground venison if you are lucky enough to have some!)
½ c. onion, chopped
1 t. steak seasoning
28 oz baked beans
1 can (14.5 oz) chopped tomatoes
16 oz frozen corn, thawed (or 1 (14.75-oz) can, drained)
1/3 c. brown sugar

In a Dutch oven, brown ground beef over medium high heat. Drain and return beef to pot. Reduce heat; add remaining ingredients; and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve over steamed rice or with tortilla chips to scoop. Optional toppings include: shredded spinach or kale, bacon crumbles, chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, sour cream, crushed tortilla chips.