Still Delicious after 116 Years

Recipe: Hot Dish – a dish men like!

This week’s recipe is almost 116 years old*.

Allow me to introduce you to its author, Verna Bawden (1895-1992), Kathleen’s paternal Grandmother. This meal was a staple in the Bawden household and is a favorite in ours too. It’s known today by many names; Beefy Mac, American Goulash, or as we call it at our house, Hot Dish. There are probably as many versions of this as there are families who eat it. It has even already appeared in a special microwave version here on WineandaSpoon last week (although I’m quite certain Verna would not approve, as she didn’t trust the microwaves).

Some time ago, Kathleen solicited recipes from all the relatives to collect and give to our kids as they grew up and moved out on their own. This was one of the ones that Verna submitted, written on a 3×5 index card (go ahead and google that, everyone under the age of 40). Verna thought the double entendre in its title only added to the appeal, and I agree.

Over the years, Kathleen has added her touches to “Hot Dish”, which I’m sure Grandma Bawden would endorse. Kathleen’s version has some Soutwest in it, with beans and peppers, and the really nice thing about this is there is still room for you to adjust it for your tastes.

Recently, Kathleen needed to make a large batch of *something* to take to one of her teachers to help feed hordes of people in town due to a death in the family. When it’s time for a large batch of anything, it’s time for Hot Dish, so this week’s cook is Kathleen. Shown below is what it looks like to make a triple batch of Hot Dish. Kathleen’s style of cooking is, in my opinion, vastly different from mine. I think my style is more mis en place, and Kathleen’s is somewhat more relaxed.

So relaxed in fact that it makes me twitchy to watch her cook. I thought for sure that my pictures would capture the chaos for all to see. Turns out, it just looks like somebody cooking. In fact, if I squint, it kind of looks like how I cook too. Is it possible that all the chaos is only in my head? That I’m confusing “not the way I do it” and “not the way it should be done”? I sure hope not, because I’d hate to have to change the way I think or anything.

As you can see, there appears to have been no lasting damage done to the kitchen by Kathleen’s out of control, train-wreck approach to cooking. I don’t like where this seems to be leading, the whole “why don’t you just chill out” tone here seems kind of judgey.

One thing I do like is how Hot Dish always turns out under Kathleen’s sure hand. She protests here that this picture doesn’t do it justice because it doesn’t include garlic bread or a nice green salad to make the meal complete. She’s probably right about that too, but I tend to like my Hot Dish all by its awesome self. As an added benefit, you can make this in large batches and freeze individual portions for reheating far into the future (using the untrustworthy microwaves is allowed for reheating). Hot Dish is good fresh or frozen!

Hot Dish – a dish men like!
Recipe type: Entree
Author: Verna Bawden
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 1 hour 10 mins
Serves: 5-6
Beefy, cheesy, tomatoey goodness, with macaroni
  • 1.5 lbs ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 12oz can of corn, drained
  • 1 12oz can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 12oz can (hot or medium) Rotel diced tomatoes and chilies
  • 1 large jar of Marinara sauce (Newman’s Own)
  • 2.5-3 cups cooked pasta, whatever shape you wish
  • 2 cups shredded cheese, whatever flavor(s) you prefer
  1. Brown the ground beef and saute the onions and peppers simultaneously. Add salt, pepper, and oregano to taste. Drain the beef mixture when browned.
  2. Place the beef and vegetable mixture in a large, deep, oven-proof baking dish. Add corn, beans, diced tomatoes, and marinara sauce. Mix well.
  3. Cook pasta, drain, and add pasta and shredded cheese to the baking dish. Mix well.
  4. Cook at 350 degrees in the oven 35-40 minutes, or until bubbling hot.
  5. Serve with garlic bread and a side salad.


Rating: This always gets 5 out of 5 glasses of home-brew at my house. It’s quick-ish to make, it makes a bunch, and it feeds a crowd. Thanks for Hot Dish, Grandma Bawden!

*Ok, technically the recipe isn’t almost 116 years old, but it’s pretty dang old.

This entry was posted in 5 Wine Glasses, Beef, Dinner, Pasta. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Still Delicious after 116 Years

  1. Debbie Merrill says:

    The Merrill’s invited themselves over for dinner that night…and it was really good! Kathleen did a great job. Thanks Grandma Bawden!

  2. Alyssa says:

    This one definitely tops the microwave version in my book! Looks delicious and I can’t wait to make it.

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