My Mom, Rebecca, but don't call her that, she likes to go by her middle name, Anne. Why? I don't know, Rebecca is beautiful but she says too many people wanted to call her Becky, was born in Brewton, Alabama and her folks later moved to the Florida panhandle (where she would later meet my Dad). That was a big 'ole run-on sentence, huh? She learned how to make this rice in her Home Economics class at J.M. Tate High School in Cantonment, Florida. Should I say it was back in the 60's? Little did she know at that time that she would be making it for her babies just a few years later. Thank you to my Momma's Home Economics teacher if you are reading this. God works in mysterious ways folks, never doubt that.
I just love the smell of this when it is cooking. There is just something about the smell of green peppers, onion and ground beef cooking that instantly takes me back to my Mom's kitchen. Smells have a way of doing that, don't they? They can trigger a memory and instantly put you back in that certain place or time. I suppose that is why so many of us like to recreate the dishes of our childhood. We like to remember those days of hanging out with our parents and being carefree and young. This dish is simple but a great addition to mealtime and it is
1 pound lean ground beef
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
4 cups, prepared white rice
1 green pepper, diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
salt & pepper, to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
In a large stock pot, add ground beef, green peppers and onion over medium high heat. Add a dash of salt and pepper to mixture. Cook until ground beef is brown and crumbled and veggies are tender. Drain excess grease. Put ground beef mixture back into stock pot. Add prepared rice and can of tomato sauce. Stir until thoroughly combined and heated through. Taste and check for seasonings at this point. I usually feel it needs just a bit more salt & pepper. Turn off heat and add cheese (if using) until melted. Stir mixture to combine and serve.
Cook’s Note: My Mom occasionally adds cheese to her rice to make it a bit more gooey and yummy. If you are using boil-in-the-bag rice, you will need 2 bags of rice for this recipe.
2 cups of dry rice will make 4 cups prepared. To reheat: put a cup or so of rice into a microwaveable-safe bowl. Sprinkle with about a tbsp. of water or chicken broth. Cover with paper towel and heat for about 1 minute. Stir to make sure it is evenly warmed through. Microwave for additional 20-30 seconds if necessary.
I love to serve this rice with my Taco Bake!