20 May, 2011

Baking with Betty: Hearty Beef 'N Potato Casserole

(Please pardon this really old picture!)

What I love about this recipe is that my Mom ripped it out of a magazine advertizement for was was then Durkee (now French's) French Fried Onions.  When I photo copied the recipe a few years ago, it even photocopied the food stains on the page.  Love.

Another thing I love about this dish is that it's SUPER easy to make, a well stocked pantry and freezer has most of the items, and kids can help make it.  We each used to take one task of the preparation and it was literally ready in less than a minute.

Ingredients:

  • 1 standard bag of frozen potato rounds (aka tater tots or crispy crowns)
  • 1 pound of ground beef (can sub ground turkey or soy crumbles)
  • 1 package (10 oz) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed (I use one-two crowns of fresh)
  • 1 medium to large tomato, chopped
  • 1 can (10.75 oz) condensed cream of celery soup
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup+ shredded cheddar, colby, or good melting cheese of your choice
  • Garlic power and pepper to taste
Recipe:
  1. Place potatoes on bottom and up sides of a 8x12 inch casserole.
  2. Bake uncovered at 400 for 10 minutes
  3. Meanwhile, brown beef; drain. Chop veggies, grate cheese.
  4. Place beef, broccoli, 1/2 of french fried onions and tomatoes into the potato shell.
  5. Combine soup, milk, and 1/2 cup cheese. Pour over mixture.
  6. Bake, covered, at 400 for 20 minutes
  7. Top with remaining cheese and french friend onions; bake uncovered for 2-3 minutes
Prep time: 10 minutes  Total bake time: 33 minutes  Serves: 6


Notes:

We used to make this so often growing that we'd just eyeball it. I also think we used a 9x13 pan to accomidate the whole bag of tater tots.  This probably means we had slightly larger quantities of the veggies and meat. Of course, we'd nibble on the french fried onions waiting for the casserole so we'd usually get the largest can available ;-)

My mom would also divide out different corners of the dish for different dietary desires.  There was always a tomato free section.  And a soy crumbles instead of beef section.   Other thoughts are to include a lightly sauteed sweet onion (mmm!). 


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