The taste of the wild, wild west is just around the corner. Cowboy Casserole features juicy beef and melty cheese on a base of crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside tater tots. Yet this casserole harkens back to its Western roots with its smoky and peppery chili spices. Cowboy Casserole keeps you warm during cold nights out on the plains or gets you ready for your next day of rustlin’!
Ingredients• 2 pounds ground beef • 2 tablespoons chili powder • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin • 1 tablespoon kosher salt • 1 teaspoon black pepper • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder • 1 yellow onion, finely diced • 1 (14.5 ounce) can tomatoes, crushed • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth • 1 cup corn • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch • 1/4 cup sour cream • 2 1/4 cups cheddar cheese, freshly grated • 1 (32 ounce) package of tater tots, frozen
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Grease a 9x13 inch casserole dish.
Add chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and ground beef to a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.
Crumble the meat, combine the spices, and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring often.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a bowl. Set aside.
Turn the heat off, and carefully drain most of the grease, leaving a thin layer of about 1 tablespoon.
Set heat back to medium-high.
Add the diced onion to the sauté pan and sauté until softened, about 3-4 minutes.
Place the beef back into the pan, along with the crushed tomatoes, corn, and beef broth. Bring to a simmer.
In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water.
Mix the cornstarch slurry into the beef mixture.
Simmer the mixture in the skillet until thickened, about 3-4 minutes.
Turn the heat off and mix in the sour cream and 1 cup of the cheddar cheese.
Add half of the tater tots to the greased casserole dish.
Pour in the beef mixture, and stir to combine.
Top the dish with the remaining tater tots and bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes.
Top with the remaining cheddar cheese and bake for another 10 minutes.
Allow to slightly cool before serving.