Vote for Pedro

8 Jun

In honor of my exciting Pyrex haul today, I thought I would break in a couple of pieces and make a retro recipe for dinner. This one also comes from Peg Bracken’s I Hate to Cook Book.

    Pedro’s Special

    1 pound ground round steak

    1 onion, chopped

    1 garlic clove, minced

    1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce plus 1/2 can tomato juice, beef broth or water

    1/2 teaspoon oregano

    2 tablespoons chili powder

    1 (16-ounce) can kidney beans with liquid

    1 medium-size bag corn chips

    A bit of lettuce

    More chopped onion

    Brown together in a little oil the ground meat, onions and garlic. Stir in the tomato sauce, oregano and chili powder. Now dust off a good-sized casserole, grease it, and alternate layers of this mixture with layers of beans and corn chips, ending with corn chips. Bake it, covered, at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, and uncover it for the last 10. Before you serve it, strew some shredded lettuce and chopped raw onion on top, for that Old-Tyme Mexicali look.

In case you’re wondering if tomato sauce still comes in a can, it does. I bought a can of Contadina tomato sauce for $1.29. I figured Contadina was probably around in 1960 when Peg Bracken wrote her book, so it was authentic. One thing I did change was I substituted cumin for the oregano the recipe calls for. Oregano sounds weird to use in a Mexican recipe, but in 1960 they probably didn’t have exotic spices in grocery stores. And if you’re wondering if baked Fritos are weird in a recipe, they are – but they’re also delicious!

I served Pedro’s Special with a side of Goya’s Mexican Rice. It was the perfect complement to the rich tomatoey beef and the crispy baked Fritos.


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