When it’s cold outside and spitting snow, there is nothing like Comfort Food to chase away those winter demons. Comfort Food is a loose term meaning carb-loaded food that’s easy to make, guaranteed to fill your belly and make you fat. But it tastes so good!
Stuff like meat loaf, mac and cheese, a pot roast and chicken stew easily qualify as charter members of the Comfort Food category. I cooked up a little Comfort Food this week, nothing special, but I have found a couple ways to save a little time in the cooking process and I thought I’d share that along with this basic recipe.
I made a Hamburger Potato Casserole.
I decided to make a large batch, enough for leftovers the next day. I used 2 pounds of hamburger, 5 cups of thinly sliced golden potatoes, 1 ½ cups of cream of mushroom soup, 1 cup chopped onions and a cup of milk.
For starters, I used ground sirloin, not chuck. You save a few calories this way, without all the grease and the flavor is good.
Instead of browning the beef in a frying pan, I have recently been baking it under high heat in the oven. It takes about the same amount of time, but the cleanup is much easier and I have noticed no difference in taste.
I break the burger up, brown it on one side in a 400-degree oven for about 10 minutes, drain off the excess grease into a bowl, finish chopping the meat and then cook until it’s entirely brown.
In a separate bowl, add the soup, onion, milk, plus salt and pepper, but here is something else I have been doing. I have been buying frozen, chopped onions from Kroger’s and this saves a world of time. No more peeling, dicing and sautéing. Just pour out a cup, put the rest of the bag back in the freezer and you’re in business. And the quality and taste of these onions is really good. I also use golden potatoes because you can cook them with skin on, saving another step.
In a casserole dish, alternately layer the potatoes, soup mixture and meat, do it twice, in that order. Cook about an hour, until the potatoes are tender, and then sprinkle 12 oz. of sharp cheddar cheese on top, return to the oven until the cheese is melted and dig in. This is Comfort Food at it’s finest. And easy to prepare.
Hamburger Potato Casserole
2 lb. ground sirloin
5 C thinly sliced golden potatoes
1 ½ cans cream of mushroom soup
1 C. chopped onions (frozen works great)
1 C milk
S & P to taste