Well, I’m sure you’re here today because you’re in need of a delicious appetizer to make for this evening’s National Championship basketball game… and lucky for you, I am ON IT. I strongly believe that it’s impossible to cheer your team on to victory on an empty stomach – so make sure you have some delicious snacks on hand as you cheer for the Wolverines tonight!
Hands down, my friends and family request this dish more than any other dish I make. These little meat muffins are just SO delicious, they are irresistible! My aunt was the original creator/maker of these – though, I remember her making them in full size muffin tins, so a couple of them was actually dinner, instead of an appetizer. I got the recipe from her probably 15 years ago – used it a couple times, lost it, and then just kept making them from memory (so surely the recipe has morphed, over the years). Once you’ve made them, they will become a staple for any gathering you attend, I guarantee it.
Cheesy Beef Cups
makes 24 mini cups
1lb ground beef (I use 90/10)
1 T yellow mustard
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sweet barbecue sauce (I use Sweet Baby Ray’s)
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 can refrigerated biscuits (make sure it’s a variety that says “flaky layers”, or similar)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1.) Preheat your oven to 350°. In a large skillet, cook and crumble your ground beef, seasoning it with the salt and pepper. Once the beef is cooked through, add the mustard, brown sugar, and barbecue sauce, and stir to thoroughly combine.
2.) Give your beef a taste test – it should be noticeably sweet, but not overly so. If needed, add another tablespoon or two of brown sugar. Additionally, the mixture should be a little saucy (but not wet) – if it seems too dry, add a bit more barbecue sauce. When the beef mixture is done, remove it from the heat, and set it to the side.
3.) Spray a mini muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Remove your biscuits from the can (if you have to have someone else open the stupid pressurized can, just know that I’m not judging you – I HATE those things). Take each biscuit, and separate it into three layers (this is why it’s important to buy the biscuits that say “flaky layers” – otherwise separating them into layers is impossible). Press one biscuit layer into each of the mini muffin cups.
4.) Add a spoonful of meat to each biscuit cup, and top with shredded cheddar.
5.) Bake for about 12-15 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown, and the cheese is nicely melted.
These things are seriously addictive. The slight edge of sweetness in the meat mixture sounds kind of weird, but it’s the best part of the whole dish (especially paired with the sharpness of the cheddar cheese)! These are quick to make, and a nice change of pace from the usual spread of dips on the appetizer table! You can make these up to a day ahead, too – just completely assemble them, but DON’T bake them. Cover the muffin tin tightly with plastic wrap, and store in the fridge until you’re ready to bake them!