It’s been a long time since my last post: blame my summer job not having a kitchen (I know! absurd right?!).
About a week or two ago I had to make dinner, and I remembered a recipe I tried ages ago and was shocked to discover it wasn’t on my blog yet. It’s one of the recipes I edited that when I posted it on facebook people commented, “You should make a blog of all the foods you make.” Why yes. Yes I should. So imagine my shock that I couldn’t find the recipe here (yes, I reference my own blog to get recipes).
The original recipe is from one of my favorite commercial food recipe haunts: Pillsbury, called Creamy Potato and Sausage Casserole. Notice how my recipe omits the “sausage” part. That’s because, well… I’ve never actually made this recipe with sausage. It’s just not something I usually have on hand. Alas.
As per usual, measurements are questionable at best. I attempted to measure ingredients as I went along, but before I knew it I was just tossing things in left and right. Drat.
Creamy Potato Casserole
This casserole is easily adjustable to serve many or few people. The recipe I’m posting fills a 9X13 casserole dish, so probably serves about 6 people with a hearty appetite.
- 1/2 lb- 1lb of ground beef or turkey; or sausage, it will technically save time if you use sausage. The amount varies on your own meat consumption preferences.
- 1 small-medium onion chopped or minced
- 1/2 bell pepper
- seasonings to taste: I suggest pepper, garlic, sage, italian seasoning, and chili powder
- 5-6 medium potatoes, washed diced into 1/2 inch cubes (you do not need to peel potatoes unless you like to)
- 1- 1 1/2 cups of chopped carrot
- 1 1/2 cup of peas
- ~3-4 cups of seasoned white sauce OR 2 cream of mushroom soup + 2/3 cup milk
- 1/3 cup of shredded cheese (optional)
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (optional)
- 1/4- 1/3 cup bread crumbs (also tastes good is crushing seasoned croutons. YUM!)
- 2-3 tbsp melted butter
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Boil potatoes and carrots until potatoes are soft enough to easily pierce with a fork. Drain and return to pot.
- While potatoes are boiling, brown ground beef with onions and bell pepper. Drain fat.
- Season meat to taste. The main seasoning for this dish is the meat, so don’t be afraid to be a bit generous with seasoning. Of course, if you are using sausage skip this step.
- Set meat aside. Wipe out skillet and make white sauce.
- Add meat, peas, cheese and white sauce (or premixed cream of mushroom soup +milk) to potatoes. Stir well.
- Pour into greased 9X13 casserole dish.
- Mix melted butter and bread crumbs. Sprinkle over top.
- Bake 20-30 minutes until top is light golden brown and sauce is bubbling on the edges.
Okay, so here is my confession. I find it simple and easy to make white sauce: melt butter, add flour, stir, add milk and continue stirring. This time when I made it, I added a can of cream of mushroom soup when I mixed everything together. I didn’t quite care for how it came out: everyone else thought it tasted good. Personal preference and all.
As to the vegetables: use whatever you have on hand. When I made this two weeks ago, we had some left over steamed veggies that needed to get eaten. So I chopped them up and added them. Technically boiling carrots is nutritionally a terrible idea: I mean all the nutrients go into the water and what do you do with the water: drain it. Ya ya ya. You can also try cooking them with the beef (harder to do) or steam them separately. The number of dishes you decide to use is up to you.
Also, I have everything running at the same time when cooking. The amount of time it takes to boil the potatoes is about how long it takes to brown and season the beef AND make a roux for the white sauce. I add the milk to the roux, drain the potatoes, and add peas and ground beef mixture to the pot. Then, finish making the white sauce (include panic before milk starts to thicken), pour it over, toss in cheese as a last minute thought, put it in the oven, freak out because I forgot the crumb topping, pull it back out of oven, make topping… well you get it.
And in true good food fashion: the leftovers are de-lish!