"Kids and cattle have a lot in common. One of the similarities they share is both are happier when you feed them what they want, not what you want to serve them." Mark Riechers, Riechers Beef Farm
1 pound Ground Beef
1 pound spicy pork sausage
1 jar (24 ounce) pasta sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
12 cranks fresh ground black pepper
5 shakes all-purpose Creole spice blend
9 cooked lasagna noodles
1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese
8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add Ground Beef, pork sausage and garlic; cook 12 to 15 minutes, breaking into 1/2-inch crumbles. Remove from skillet with slotted spoon; pour off drippings. Return beef to skillet; add pasta sauce, fennel, red pepper flakes, black pepper and Creole seasoning. Stir until combined. Set aside.
Cook's Tip: Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed Ground Beef. Ground Beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F. Color is not a reliable indicator of Ground Beef doneness.
2. In an oven-safe 9"x13" pan, layer three noodles, 1/3 of the meat sauce and 1/3 of the mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Repeat layers two more times.
3. Cover with aluminum foil and place on larger jelly roll pan, to catch any boil over. Bake in 350°F oven for 90 minutes. Let stand, loosely covered, 10 minutes before serving.
I have spent many years calculating and mixing cattle rations and feeding kids. This version of a TMR (total mixed ration) has limited rejection problems, the most common being that it is a little too spicy-hot for some. Ice cream helps to alleviate the issue. If my recipe writing seems a bit unconventional, kind of like a feedlot batch sheet, I trust you will be able to follow along, interpreting as you see fit. And, as anyone who has had to read a feed bunk, or feed kids, please claim the discretion to make adjustments to match your ingredient list to better suit your desired outcome.
Mark Riechers, Riechers Beef Farm, Darlington, Wisconsin