Cheeseburger Cups

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It starts with a sauce. I won’t go into the exact amounts and proportions because, honestly, I don’t think it matters much with this dish. But more on that later. This was heavy on the ketchup, with a bit of mustard, some Worcestershire sauce, and a couple spoonfuls of brown sugar.

It doesn’t take a lab analysis to see it for something akin to BBQ sauce, and eerily reminiscent of the ketchstard I’ve come to recognize from several of my pastalterna-burger stand-ins. This sauce is then added to a pound of browned ground beef to produce a very sloppy joesque mixture.

Next came a tube of refrigerated biscuits. (Clearly, part of the allure of this dish is the use of inexpensive pantry items one might easily already have on hand, making this a quick meal choice for a busy weeknight.)

The biscuits get pressed into the cups of a greased muffin tin and worked so the dough comes up the sides of the muffin cups. Ten biscuits to a tube; twelve cups to a muffin tin. Leave the middle two ungreased and empty.

Now spoon your beef mixture into the cups and top with small cubes of Velveeta cheese.

Bake these babies for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees and you’ll be rewarded with this:

Super easy, and pretty darn tasty. What I liked best was the fact that it seems like the sort of recipe that’s almost infinitely adaptable. Don’t dig on ketchup (like me)? I’m pretty sure you could improvise your own sauce on the fly and be just fine: go lighter on the ketchup, take out the sweetness of the brown sugar entirely, add a taste of the grill with some Liquid Smoke, etc. Want to upgrade thecheese to something other than American?

Sure, Velveeta melts like nobody’s business, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t do this with a block of Swiss, Colby, or Pepper Jack. (Of course, your gooey meltiness may vary.) Want to add more burger toppings to the mix? Diced onions would work, as would chopped sauteed mushrooms, or even crumbled bits of cooked bacon. Let your inner mad-cheeseburger-scientist go wild here; I think if it works on a regular burg, you could make it work on these bite-sized flavor bombs.

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