Slop

You may think that Slop is an odd name for a recipe. Maybe a bit derogatory. Or insulting.

But no… at least not for me. It’s what this casserole has always been called and we have my father to thank for that.

There are two dishes I can remember that my mother invented when I was a kid. I think their names resulted from the question Dad would ask when he got home after work: “Are we having slop or swill for dinner tonight?”

If you think he was being disrespectful about Mum’s cooking, remember that slop and swill are both words used to describe the food fed to pigs.

Hmm.

Slop is a combination of ground beef, tomato sauce, pasta, cheese and some other stuff which is layered like a lasagna and is very comforting food.

I have not seen another version that is quite like this — some people make a similar casserole and add green peppers or cumin or mushrooms (yuk) — but this is the real deal. Accept no substitutes!

Let’s start.

Get the ground beef out of the refrigerator.

Ground beef.

Ground beef.

Grab a couple of onions.

Onions.

Onions.

Dice the onions.

Onions, post-dicing.

Onions, post-dicing.

Cook the onions until translucent.

Cook until translucent.

Cook until translucent.

While the onion are cooking, grate some cheese.

Grated cheddar.

Grated cheddar.

Add the ground beef to the cooked onions.

Add the ground beef to the onions.

Add the ground beef to the onions.

Get the pasta…

Rotini pasta this time.

Rotini pasta this time.

…and get it cooking.

Get the pasta started (a whatfoodimade action shot™!).

Get the pasta started (a whatfoodimade action shot™!).

Browned ground round.

Ground beef is browned.

Ground beef is browned.

Add the tomatoes then the Italian spices.

Add the tomato sauce and Italian seasoning.

Add the tomato sauce and Italian seasoning.

Drain the pasta.

Pasta is ready.

Pasta is ready.

Begin assembling the slop. First a layer of meat sauce.

First layer: meat sauce.

First layer: meat sauce.

Next, a layer of pasta.

Second layer: pasta. Then more meat sauce.

Second layer: pasta. Then more meat sauce.

Now a layer of cheese.

Third layer: cheeses.

Third layer: cheeses.

Continue layering (sauce, pasta, cheese) until you have no more ingredients.

Ready for the oven.

Ready for the oven.

After 30 minutes you have Slop.

Slop.

Slop.

Slop

2 medium onions, diced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 28 oz. can tomatoes, puréed
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 lb. dried pasta – your choice (rotini, fusilli, elbow are all good.)
2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Cook the diced onions in the olive oil over medium heat until softened and translucent (about 5 minutes).

Add the ground beef to the onions and stir to break it up as it browns. When the beef is cooked, drain off any obvious amount of fat and add the puréed tomatoes. Mix to combine. Add the Italian seasoning and simmer for 15 minutes.

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water, according to the package’s instructions.

Spoon a thin layer of the tomato sauce into a 9 x 13″ casserole dish. Top that with half the cooked pasta, and top that with half of the tomato sauce. Add half the cheddar and mozzarella cheese, then repeat the layers.

Bake for 30 minutes in the 350°F oven.

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