This recipe has been in my family for many years. It was something my grandfather used to make at his fraternity house in college. Since they didn't have a lot of money he used the bare minimum. Who would have thought that it would have turned into our families favorite meal. When you talk about comfort food this is the ultimate for my family. The memories I have of Grandpa making it are few, but carrying on the recipe after he passed as young kids and learning how to make it will always be with me when I make it. We all had our jobs and Grandma was the official taster at the end to tell us what more we needed to add. Thinking about it we should have tasted along with her because the taste test is the part I still struggle with. This meal is at pretty much every extended family gathering and we only know how to make enough for large gatherings which means lots of leftovers when you make it on your own. This simple recipe is affordable and plentiful but it's a "little bit of this, little bit of that" recipe. We all just kind of know what to do... So I will do my best to relay what I use when I make it.


1-2lbs of Ground Beef (My side of the family uses closer to 2lbs)
1 Box Elbow Noodles
1 Medium to Large Onion, diced
3-4 Stalks of Celery, chopped
2 Cans Tomato Soup
1 Cup of Ketchup (This is the tricky one, we just squirt it out of the bottle)
2 tbsp Oil (Vegetable, Olive, Canola or whatever oil you like to use)
Salt and pepper at every stage and then to taste

Start a pot of water for your noodles, get that thing boiling. While the water is coming to a boil dice your onion and chop your celery. If you like crunch just chopped the stalk, if you want less crunch slice the celery in half length wise and then chop (this will essentially be a dice).


Put a tablespoon oil in a pan over medium high heat and put the onion and celery in. Salt and pepper and let those cook up till you start to see a little brown. You don't want to overcook them. If you haven't yet, drop that box of noodles in the boiling water! Take the onion and celery and put them in a big bowl. If you have an oven safe bowl that is ideal!


In the same pan, add a little more oil and put your ground beef in. My grandma always said "let the beef cook in the flavors of the celery and onion". Salt and pepper and cook the beef up. Now, you're going to put this in the oven after everything is mixed so don't cook the crap out of the beef. Once the beef is cooked drain the excess liquid and dump the beef in the bowl with the onion and celery. Grab your cooked noodles and throw those in giant bowl too!


Now add the tomato soup, ketchup and salt and pepper and start stirring. You're going to hear the most glorious sound when you mix. We always fought over who got to stir it! Okay, here's the tricky part. It's the taste test portion. Now I did my best to get you to the right ketchup amount but that was always squirt the bottle (2 pushes) lol. The ketchup should give you tang but not a ketchup taste. If you think it needs more add it a little at a time. This is also where you can decided if you want more pepper or salt.



After you've figured our the taste (which should be good from what I told you). Cover with a lid or aluminum foil and put in the oven for 20-25 and 350. After that...enjoy.


I hope you like it, if not please don't tell me. LOL I was hesitant to share this because it means so much to my family. One time I made it for my roommates in college and one refused to eat it after watching me make it. I didn't bother me then but now that both my grandparents are gone for some reason it means a little more to me and my family. When I told my mom I was going to share it she told me to leave something out or fudge the numbers on a ingredient. Long story short, it's a ridiculous recipe and we know that but sometimes those are the best meals. So I hope you have fun making it and eating it!



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