A “Retro” Casserole !!

It’s been a long, cold winter for those of us on the East Coast – with Central Virginia getting more than its share of snow. Last night, with the threat of the Polar Vortex closing in on us once again, bringing chilling temps, I felt the need for some good ole comfort food – you know – that food that takes you on a walk down memory lane – sparking a mental picture of the family gathered together at the table enjoying that which was placed before them.

Incidentally, this one particular recipe that I was craving also fell into the “retro” category for me. And I’ll define “retro” as any recipe that contains the ingredient “can of mushroom soup.” LOL !!! So, as Stephan of SNL would say, “This casserole has EVERYTHING” – including that can of mushroom soup, ground beef, instant potatoes, ketchup and more. This recipe comes to me from my mom’s sister who used to serve it up quite regularly “back in the day.”

Ground Beef Casserole

Ground Beef Casserole

She always called it “Ground Beef Casserole,” but most would put it in the “Shepherd’s Pie” category, I think. No matter what its name, it sure tastes good on a cold winter’s eve!

Ground Beef Casserole (serves 6-8)

1 1/2 lbs ground beef (or turkey, chicken or soy protein)
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tsp butter or veg oil
1/4 cup flour
1 Tbl ketchup
3/4 cup beef broth
1 can mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
salt, pepper

1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
2 cups instant potatoes
2 eggs
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.

For Casserole:
In skillet, add butter or oil if using. When butter is melted, add onions and saute until soft. Remove and set aside. Add ground beef (or other protein of choice) to skillet and brown.

While beef is browning, mix remaining casserole ingredients together in large bowl. Add onions and the browned ground beef. Stir to combine and pour into baking dish (I think mine was a 2 qt dish).

For Topping:
In small bowl, combine flour and baking powder, stirring to thoroughly combine. Set aside.

In small bowl, or measuring cup, break eggs and mix lightly. Set aside.

In medium saucepan, heat water, butter, milk until butter is melted. Add salt and stir to combine. Remove from heat and mix in instant potatoes. Add the flour/baking powder mixture and mix in thoroughly. Take a small portion of the potato mixture and add to the eggs to temper the eggs somewhat (the potato mixture is pretty hot – adding the eggs without the tempering could cook them). Add the tempered eggs to the potato mixture and stir to combine.

Spoon the potato mixture over the ground beef in the casserole dish.

Place casserole in pre-heated oven and bake 25-30 minutes, or until top is lightly browned and ground beef mixture is bubbly. Serve immediately.

(*) I haven’t tried it, but I suppose you could experiment by using 2 cups of regular mashed potatoes instead of the instant ones. In that case, just move on to the additions of the eggs, flour and baking powder.


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