Garbage plates are a thing in Rochester NY where I am from. The original recipe came from Nick Tahou's. It was in a shady place where the owner literally kept a baseball bat behind the counter. It was the kind of place that late-nighters would go to after the bars. You just had to be sure to travel in groups and not cross the parking lot by yourself. The food wasn't healthy by any means and ambiance wasn't on their list of priorities as long as that meat sauce was kicking!
Scott and I wanted to create a healthier plate that you could prepare in the safety of your home and this is what evolved.
1 pound grass-fed ground beef, divided in half
2-4 slices of desired cheese
1 package frozen Alexia hashbrowns or tater tots
1 head of organic cauliflower
2 stalks organic celery
2 organic carrots
1 clove garlic, diced or pressed through a garlic press
1 cup chopped sweet onion, divided in half
3 Tbsp Sir Kensington’s mayo
½ can tomato paste
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
salt to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut cauliflower into small pieces. Coat in olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast on a baking sheet for 15 minutes. Turn over and roast for another 10 minutes or until cauliflower is golden brown. Set aside to cool.
While cauliflower is roasting, prepare ½ of ground meat into burger patties and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder on both sides. Set aside.
Prepare the meat sauce: Fry garlic and half of the chopped onion in 1 Tbsp coconut oil. Saute ½ pound ground beef until cooked thoroughly in the same frying pan as onion and garlic. Add tomato paste and gradually add water as sauce cooks. Stir in black pepper, cayenne, chili powder, cumin, allspice, cinnamon, ground cloves. Salt to taste. Simmer until sauce thickens to desired consistency, about 15 minutes.
Put “mac” salad together: Chop celery and carrots. Mix cooled cauliflower with chopped veggies, the remaining chopped onions, and mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper to desired taste.
Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Bake tater tots or hash browns according to the package. While potatoes are roasting, grill burgers for 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway through. Cook to desired internal temperature. Melt cheese over burgers at the last minute.
Put plates together: Layer potatoes, “mac” salad, and burgers. Top with a generous portion of meat sauce, ketchup, mustard, and chopped onions.