Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I'm not making any promises, or committing to a weekly schedule, but I do intend to create a casserole dish, once a week, at least through the fall. Again, that doesn't mean I can get it together enough to share it with you weekly (I have a feeling some won't be successful enough, so I may just save you, my reader the hassle of reading a post about a dish you won't have any interest in making anyhow). I realized recently how fond of casseroles I truly am. For the most part I'm one of those eaters who enjoys mashing everything together. At Thanksgiving I basically swirl everything together in one giant pile, the turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, gravy, cranberry sauce. . . you get the idea. What better time of year to get into casseroles than during the fall? (Okay, maybe I'm jumping the gun by a few weeks here, I know it's not fall, but in the Northwest it's cold, and frankly, I'm ready for it, bring on the clouds!) To me casserole spells comfort food, rib stickin, and warm, perfect for blustery wet September eve's.
I'm not so fond of posting this as the first casserole recipe. I had higher hopes for this casserole. It was good, not great. It wasn't as nice looking as I wanted it, that's likely a lot of the reason I am hesitant to post this here. But, you might like it, or find a way to make it better. Perhaps you have an incredible meatloaf recipe that will blow my simple version out of the loaf pan. I'm unsure your mashed potatoes could beat mine, but maybe they can. This recipe came out looking very 1970's to me, I think what might take it over the retro visual top is if I threw in some bright orange cubed carrots and a giant blob of ketchup on it (although I will admit, I ate my slice of meatloaf casserole with ketchup, but I didn't photograph it with ketchup, meatloaf without ketchup is wrong). To me, the retro, almost awful look of it is part of the fun with this dinner.
Let's proceed with the pseudo recipe.
Before you start: Caramelize one onion. To do so, slice onion thinly, add to heavy saute pan with one tablespoon of butter on high heat. After five minutes, when onions have become slightly translucent, season with salt and pepper. Turn heat to very low and allow onions to cook, stirring every once and a while, until golden brown.
Layer One: Meatloaf. I usually use turkey when I make meatloaf. I was so impressed with the organic beef I bought for the pimento burgers last week, that I was tempted to buy it again. I think I might do turkey if I make this again. Perhaps I just prefer it. I keep it simple (like I do with my burgers), 1 lb,. ground meat (whichever you choose) salt, pepper, 3 cloves garlic, a few tablespoons of ketchup, sprinkle of dark brown sugar, a few splashes of worshteshire. Place your mixed up meatloaf in a 9x5 bread pan. Bake at 350 F for about 20 minutes.
In the Meantime: While your meatloaf is baking, boil 4 medium sized yukon gold potatoes. I prefer skin on, I like potato skins in my mash. When they've finished (if you stick a fork into the potato and lift, it should slide off easily) drain and throw in 4 Tablespoons of butter, place lid on potatoes and allow butter to melt. Once butter has melted, mash well, throw in a few Tablespoons of high fat milk (1/2 and 1/2, whole milk, cream etc.), continue to mash and season with salt and pepper.
Layer Two: Evenly slather caramelized onions on top of cooked meatloaf.
Layer Three: Place one cup (perhaps more) of fresh, or frozen, baby peas.
Layer Four: Pile the mashed potatoes up to the hilt (the top of the pan). If you really want to get decadent, throw a few pads of butter onto the top of the potatoes. Bake in the same heated oven, 350 F, for about 10 minutes, until meatloaf casserole/pie is heated through.
I inverted the casserole on a plate straight out of the oven and allowed everyone to slice a portion off of the casserole loaf. No matter how retro, ugly, or odd this may be it is a fun way to serve a weekday classic.
Posted by miss mallory opel at 10:58 PM