Sunday, February 1, 2009

Meat & Potato Casserole

Inexpensive, easy, hearty and tasty: what more could one want in a casserole? Make two and freeze one! Serve with green beans, corn or mixed veggies. Look for soup, mushrooms and cheese on sale.

Serves 2-4

  • 8-ounces (1/2 pound), ground chuck
  • 8-ounces peeled, thinly sliced potatoes (about 1 large)
  • 1/2-can condensed, cream of mushroom soup
  • 1, 7-ounce can mushroom pieces and stems, drained, liquid preserved
  • 1/2-cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2-teaspoon dried thyme flakes, crushed
  • Pinch or two dried red pepper flakes
  • Milk, or any of the following: cream, half-and-half or evaporated milk
  • 4 slices American cheese or 1/2 - 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Lightly spray a one-quart, glass baking dish, one that has a lid. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

A mandolin works best to slice the potatoes. You want them about as thick as a nickel, but no thinner.

Put the mushroom juice in a measuring cup and add milk until it measures 3/4 cup. In a small bowl, combine the cream of mushroom soup and the mushroom liquid.

In a medium skillet, brown the ground chuck. Just as it begins to brown, add the onion and garlic. Cook just until meat is no longer pink.

Add the mushroom soup mixture, the thyme and red pepper flakes to taste. Bring to a slow simmer, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasonings. If too dry, add a bit more liquid or mushroom soup.

Place a few tablespoons of the meat mixture on the bottom of the casserole dish just to cover. Place a layer of potatoes on top and continue to alternate layers of potatoes and meat mixture, being sure to finish with the meat mixture. (Sometimes I add a bit more milk.)

Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until you notice it begins to bubble and the potatoes are soft. Remove from oven. Place cheese slices or cheese on top and return to oven, uncovered, just until the cheese is melted.

Notes: regular ground hamburger is pretty fatty, so I avoid it. Ground sirloin works well, too. You could use ground round, but I think ground chuck has much more flavor. It would be interesting to use ground lamb. If you don’t like thyme, go ahead and use a different seasoning. I never add salt to this since the cheese and soup have enough already.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My mom used to make something much like this, but she never wrote down recipes. I am so glad to find it.