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As we prepared to hunker down in New Jersey in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy, we made a quick Target run for all the necessities before the stores closed indefinitely. I’m pretty sure our idea of “necessities” didn’t really jive with everyone else at Target, but hey, we didn’t know if this would be our last chance to stock up before heading back to Argentina! As we were filling our cart with things like basic tees, Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, and beauty products, it occurred to us that getting some food might be a good idea as well. What would make good hurricane comfort food? At Gaspar’s request, Chewed Up Cheeseburger it was.

The first time I made this I was in grade school. The recipe, called Quick Cheeseburger Pie, was from a cookbook that we’d gotten from Gold Medal Flour that was geared towards kids and had a different recipe for each letter of the alphabet. I’d already successfully tried my hand at a few other recipes in that little book, and my cousins were coming over for dinner so I wanted to pick a winner. I did, although it was my first lesson in portion planning as it wasn’t nearly enough to feed the crowd. Still, it went over like gangbusters and has been a go-to ever since, as many of our friends can attest. It was Gaspar who dubbed it Chewed Up Cheeseburger, which I initially found horrifying but have come to embrace. Perhaps it doesn’t sound all that appetizing, but think about all the delicious flavors of a cheeseburger in a flaky pie crust, and you may change your mind.

Like all casseroles, the photos may not be all that pretty, but just trust me.


For pastry:

1 1/3 cup flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup shortening

4 T. cold water

For filling:

1 pound lean ground beef

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 cup flour

1/3 cup dill pickle juice

1/3 cup milk

1/2 cup chopped dill pickles

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 425° F. For the pastry crust, in a medium bowl, mix 1 1/3 cups flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles tiny peas. Add cold water 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring with a fork after each addition. Mix lightly, just until pastry almost cleans sides of bowl. Press into bottom and sides of an 8 inch pie pan. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.

To make the filling, crumble ground beef into a large skillet and saute over medium heat for 1 minute. Add onion and garlic. Continue to saute until onion is browned, about 10 minutes. Drain grease from mixture. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup flour. Stir in pickle liquid, milk, pickles, and 1 cup shredded cheese. Spoon mixture into pastry shell. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Sprinkle top with remaining 1 cup cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes, until pastry is golden brown and cheese is bubbly.