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This is an easy “throw it in the oven and forget about it dish.” The recipe comes from a cookbook of my mother’s. I think it’s called Main Dishes and it was compiled by the US Parent-Teacher Association, but the cover is missing so I can’t be sure of the title. It seems like we had one cookbook for main dishes and a different one for something else, desserts? Anyway, it was probably published in the late 1960s or early 1970s. It’s 382 pages, so there’s every kind of hot dish imaginable, whole sections on Beef Stews and Ground Beef Dishes, many of them just slightly different from each other. This cookbook came in very handy when we ate ground moose regularly. I would just comb through until I found a recipe that I happened to have all the ingredients.

  • Ingredients
  • 4-5 potatoes, sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • Small onion, sliced
  • 1 lb. ground beef (or caribou, moose, elk, or bison–I’ve used them all)
  • 15 oz. can Pork and Beans
  • 1 cup tomato juice (or tomato sauce or vegetable juice or 12-oz can V-8–I’ve used them all)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 2-quart casserole dish (I use my Dutch Oven) with non-stick spray or grease. Place a layer of sliced potatoes, salt and pepper, then a sprinkle of sliced onions. Add ground beef (just sprinkle it around on top), then the Pork and Beans. Add another layer of potatoes, salt and pepper, and sliced onions. Pour tomato juice over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for two hours. Yield: 4 servings

This recipe calls for a small can of “Pork and Beans” and I’ve always bought Van Camps, but Van Camps’ ingredient list warns there’s a potential for soy. This may be a problem for some. I looked up how to make Pork and Beans myself and it’s essentially a soupy version of my “Ranch Beans” recipe, using small white beans and no chili powder. I haven’t tried that yet in this recipe because I’m all about easy with this dish. I love to eat Potato-Bean Casserole liberally enhanced with pickled sliced jalapeno peppers.

I’ve got one of those fancy ovens that you can set it to come on and then turn off at specific times. I can’t tell you how many times I put this in the oven with partially frozen meat, set the oven to come on and then cook for two hours, and arrived home from soccer practice to have a wonderful meal all ready for hungry people to eat. Press the easy button!

Tex-Mex_Cornbread_Cass

This was a standard dish at our house while I was growing up. I’ve tweaked it to make it my own. Many people buy a prepared cornbread mix to use, but it’s so simple to whip up a half-batch of cornbread that I don’t see the point in buying the mix. Also, I’ve started making my own taco seasoning and if you want to do that too, you can find a recipe online.

INGREDIENT LIST

1# lean ground beef

1 cup chopped onion

1 garlic clove, minced

1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes

1 4-oz. can chopped green chiles

1 14-oz. can kidney beans

1 pkg. (2 Tbsp.) Taco seasoning

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

½ cup flour

½ cup corn meal

2 Tbsp. sugar

1-1/2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

½ cup milk

3 Tbsp. oil

1 egg

Fry ground beef, onion, and garlic together in oven-proof skillet. Stir in tomatoes, chiles, beans, and taco seasoning. Let simmer for a few minutes.

Fry ground beef, onion, and garlic together in oven-proof skillet. Stir in tomatoes, chiles, beans, and taco seasoning. Let simmer for a few minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in a handful of grated cheese.

Remove from heat and stir in a handful of grated cheese.

In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, corn meal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, mix milk, oil, and egg. Stir milk mixture into flour mixture and stir just until blended.

In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, corn meal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, mix milk, oil, and egg. Stir milk mixture into flour mixture and stir just until blended.

Pour this batter over the top of the ground beef mixture as pictured. If you do not have an oven-proof skillet, you can use a greased 9x13” pan to place the cooked ground beef mixture and then pour the corn bread batter over the top.

Pour this batter over the top of the ground beef mixture as pictured. If you do not have an oven-proof skillet, you can use a greased 9×13” pan to place the cooked ground beef mixture and then pour the corn bread batter over the top.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve.

Tex-Mex_Cornbread_Cass2