I have a fair number of bookmarks of retro recipes I want to try, often from other retro-ish blogs I read. While searching through them for this week’s cooking adventure, I found this:
Sorry, readers. I’ve done one vintage meat-and-gelatin dish, and that was more than enough, even if it is the most popular post I’ve ever written. (The jellied frankfurter nightmare also called for hard-boiled eggs, though. I’d wonder if this was a trend in jellied meat salad, except that would mean I have to think about jellied meat salad, and I don’t really want to.) So enjoy the deceptively attractive picture, because this is all you’ll ever see. (Thanks, Mad Vortex.)
So instead, our first retro recipe of the new year will be Ground Beef Grand Style. (Good eating! Easy fixing!) A typical recipe-disguised-as-advertisement, it insists you use Philadelphia Cream Cheese (which is still available) and Ballard biscuit dough (which is not — well, not exactly; was bought up by Pilsbury in 1951, but the biscuits were still apparently sold under the Ballard label for some time, since this recipe is from 1963).
GROUND BEEF GRAND STYLE
1 can Ballard OvenReady Biscuits
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 package (8 oz.) Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese
1 can (10 1/2 oz.) cream of mushroom or chicken soup
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup catsup
1/3 cup sliced stuffed olives, if desired
Brown ground beef and onions, drain.
Combine softened cream cheese, soup, milk. Add salt, catsup, olives, ground beef. Pour into 2-quart casserole. Bake at 375°, 10 minutes.
Place Biscuits around edge of casserole; if desired, top with olive slices. Bake at 375°, 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
While fetching the camera to document this attempt, my daughter stopped to take about twenty pictures of things around the house. This is one of our cats. I think I will start an exhibition, “Random household objects and occupants, out of focus and overexposed.”
SOMEBODY brought home olives that were not stuffed, and instead were “Southwestern Olives with Herbs and Napa Valley Chardonnay”. (La-de-dah! CHARDONNAY!) The Southwestern appelation is from the jalapeños that were pickled along with the olives (and, for some weird reason, carrot slices), which gave the olives a peppery tang — they were spicier than the pickled jalapeño peppers. The Chardonnay did nothing except increase the price, but that didn’t matter because these were 50% off on closeout.
We mixed all the ingredients together with the Super Wonderful Fantabulous Mixer. Daughter poured things in. The cream cheese, milk, and mushroom soup make a very rich, creamy base for the other ingredients.
I’m not really sure why this has to be baked for 10 minutes to begin with, because it added nothing (except perhaps warmth) to the cheese-meat-olive mixute. Oh, and see that little glass bowl full of brown liquid there, next to the casserole dish? That’s the collected fat from 1.5 pounds of ground beef. Now I remember why I frequently use ground turkey (or veggie-based meat substitute)…
Except for a little running over at the edges, the casserole baked up nicely. Since we didn’t have the appropriately pimentoed olives, I am including an artist’s rendition of the dish so you know what it would have looked like. (It’s surprisingly lifelike.)
The main difference between reality (above) and advertisement (below) is that the meat-cheese mixture doesn’t appear to have been baked in the advertisement image. I guess it does look better all creamy and pale than it does baked.
But more important than artistic rendering is the flavor. (This make probably 8-10 servings, rather than the 5-6 listed in the original advertisement.) And what is the overall opinion of Ground Beef Grand Style?
It was pretty good for the first few bites. But overall, it’s salty (do NOT add the 1 teaspoon salt), and not very flavorful. It turns out the Southwestern Olives purchase was serendipitous — at least there was SOME taste from those jalapeños. There’s too much cream cheese and not enough vegetable/meat bits. The biscuits, sitting on gooey cream cheese while cooking, were still raw on the bottom.
By the time we made it through one serving, neither Buzz nor I wanted more. Toddler Son refused to eat even a biscuit (unusually sensible of him), and showed his disapproval by throwing food on the floor. Preschooler Daughter, however, insisted it was delicious and cleaned her plate… which rather makes me wonder just what sort of crap they feed her at preschool.
Aside from bland gooey underwhelming flavor, the name is just dumb. Alternative ideas:
- Cheesy Hamburger Biscuit Pie
- Cholesterol Pie
- Ground Beef Scumpy Style
- Ground Beef Drowned In Goo
- Did The Cat Barf On My Plate Or Did You Make Ground Beef Grand Style Again
Oh well. We had fun, lots of laughs, and didn’t throw up afterwards, which is really what we hope for in these recipes. (Finding a good one is just a bonus.)
Recipe is via RecipeCurio.com, which accurately labels itself as a blog of “charming vintage recipes.”