Food You Can Eat: Spinach Beef Casserole

Doesn't look like much--but it is very good.

First things first:  This is an old standard in our house.  Last year, when I was trying to find ways to get rid of all the goddamned Swiss chard that Mrs. Butcher insisted we plant (and then became promptly tired of it), I tried swapping out the spinach for the chard.  Bad idea.  In fact, Swiss chard is a bad idea in general.  So, when I made this last week, Mrs. Butcher said, “this is so much better than the last time.  What did you do differently?”

“I used spinach, like I usually do.  Last time was Swiss chard—which we are not planting again.”


A caveat before we get started:  This recipe calls for ground sirloin.  Do NOT cheap out and use ground beef.  Ground beef is way too fatty for this dish.  For that matter, grain-fed ground sirloin is also too fatty.  Get yourself some grass-fed (not grass-finished, which is little more than bullshit marketing to make people feel better about the overpriced garbage meat they’re buying) ground sirloin and you will not be sorry for getting what you paid for.

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 Cups Brown Rice, uncooked

Butter or Olive Oil

1 Lb. Ground Sirloin

2 Med. Onions, chopped

Fresh Baby Spinach (two of those large tubs should do it)


Garlic, minced (at least 5 cloves)


Cayenne Pepper

Black Pepper

Prepared Mustard (about a single squeeze)

2 Eggs

1 Cup Milk

Cheddar Cheese, shredded (at least a cup, packed, or one of those bags of shredded cheese)

Cook your rice as usual and set it aside.

Brown the ground sirloin and sauté the onions in the butter or oil in a large pot.  Once the sirloin is fully browned, add the spinach, salt, and garlic, stirring frequently until the spinach has all wilted—about 5 minutes.  Add the rice, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and mustard and mix well.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and milk together.  Stir this into the rice mixture, along with the shredded cheese, until fully combined and the cheese is melted.

Don’t skimp on the spinach. It cooks down a lot.

Pour the mixture into a greased casserole dish.  Then bake at 350 degrees, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes, or until the casserole is a little bubbly and lightly browned on top.  Pro tip:  contrary to popular belief, you don’t actually have to preheat your oven every single time you’re going to use it.  There are certain situations in which preheating is required to get the necessary heat shock—such as baking bread—but most of the time you can just put your dish in a cold oven and then turn it on.  It will not hurt anything and it also will not affect the baking time.  If you’re preheating 100% of the time, then you’re wasting energy 80% of the time.

Let the casserole sit for about 10 minutes before serving so it can set.

This is hearty enough that you don’t really need a side dish, but does work well with a nice salad.

About butcherbakertoiletrymaker 557 Articles
When you can walk its length, and leave no trace, you will have learned.


  1. Oh, very nice @butcherbakertoiletrymaker. All the ingredients are on-hand here, most of the time. Mrs. Butcher is a lucky lady to have you as a personal chef.

  2. That is some comfort food, right there. In fact, I do believe that you just inspired dinner…

  3. Ooohhhh I want this in a bowl with a sunny side up egg on it

  4. I while back, I read something where cows eating grass had a different stomach pH than cows eating grain (I think it was pH?), and that grain eating cows developed E. coli that were more likely to survive stomach acids, and make people ill.  I think they people doing the study claimed that if cows were raised on grain, and switched to grass for the last two? weeks, it would reverse the effects, and their E. coli would be normal and less acid tolerant, and less likely to make people ill.
    I wonder if the grass-finished is related to that?

    • I remember seeing that as well, but I think grass-finished is still just a marketing ploy to make people think it’s better than a usual CAFO?

  5. Hmm… I skimmed this even though I obviously won’t be making it, and I’m chewing on that tidbit about preheating ovens… I will do some of my own experimenting with that. 

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