Thursday, July 1, 2010

Mashed Potato and Hamburger Casserole

I got this recipe out of my "Healthy Cooking for Your Kids" cookbook. Between boiling, peeling, and mashing potatoes; and peeling, slicing, dicing, and rinsing vegetables, this recipe took a VERY long time to make. My advice, if you are going to try this one, would be to prepare your veges the night before and stick them in your refrigerator, so they are ready to go. From start to finish, I think I spent over 2 hours on this recipe. (truly, but that includes over 40 minutes of cooking on the stove top (simmering), lots and lots of prepping foods, and cooking in the oven.) The amount of time spent on this recipe was very frustrating for a mom of three youngins, but chock full of excellent nutrition, if you can get your kids to eat it. :) While I was disappointed with this one, in particular, I am not ruling out this book entirely just yet. I am going to try a couple of other ones and post them a different week.

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 lb. lean fresh ground lamb or beef
1 leek, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped (I left this out)
3.5 oz. mushrooms, chopped
14 oz. canned tomatoes
2 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves (I used Italian seasoning)
1/2 cup water
1 lb. potatoes, boiled an mashed (this was about 2 potatoes for me)
14 oz. sweet potatoes, boiled and mashed (I used out frozen sweet potato "fries" that we already had in the freezer)
4 Tbs. whole milk
piece of unsalted butter
sea salt and pepper

Heat half of the oil in a nonstick skillet and cook the ground lamb over high heat, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until well browned. (skip oil if using ground beef) Remove the ground lamb from the skillet with a slotted spoon, pour away any fat, and wipe the skillet with paper towel. Add the remaining oil to the skillet and cook the leek, (be sure to rinse your cut up leek very well. The part you eat also happens to be the part that is in the ground, so it must be rinsed)onion, carrots, and celery for 15 minutes until soft. Return the lamb to the pan and add the mushrooms, tomatoes, thyme, and water. Season to taste with salt and pepper and let simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

(This is me holding my little munchkin in our sling, so I can try to make dinner)
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the 2 mashes of potatoes with half the milk and half the butter in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cut a slit around the center of the potato, and cook in boiling water for 15 minutes or more. Pull out potato with tongs and dunk it in freezing cold water. When cool enough to touch, pick up and pull off the peel. Peel should just slide off.

I cooked my "sweet potato fries" in boiling water until they were soft, and drained them.

Spoon the meat sauce into a baking dish and top with the potato mixtures. Brush with remaning milk and dot with the remaining butter. Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes until the topping is brown and crisp.Serve to your sweet little, darling, children and your grateful husband....well...kinda. Truth is, my husband really did like this one. My kids, on the other hand, wanted nothing to do with it. I wonder if I should have let them help me put this one together more. ? I actually stowed them away in my two year old's room because they kept nagging at me, while I was trying to chop and prepare all the vegetables. Here's a picture of what my two-year-olds' room looked like when I was done preparing dinner. ;0)

1 comment:

Ethiopianmomma said...

Oh, Kipton looks great, so do you! I can not tell you how often I am cooking with a little one in a sling or attached onto me somehow!!! Love it!