Okay bear with me. I tried to make the title of this post the least repulsive I possibly could, but this clearly proved difficult. I hate the word “casserole”. It grosses me out. I always associate it with heavy, creamy, chunky, lumpy, processed, Campbell’s-soup-based dish–not the most appealing. Unless you’re into that. Which I am not.
Okay let me take this opportunity to go on a rant for a minute: I absolutely HATE it when I come across a recipe somewhere that claims to be “only 3 ingredients!” or “so simple!” and it involves a mix or a premade ingredient. That cake is not made of 3 ingredients. It is made of the 8297 creepy ingredients that no one can pronounce in the cake mix you bought, plus the other 2 you add yourself. If you’re baking/cooking something from scratch, COMMIT, people! Come on! It’s one thing to use a stock something, but to make a casserole with a whole can of cream and mushroom soup and claim that it’s “homemade” just makes me sad.
Anyways! This is the perfect, cozy winter dinner. If I were to live in any given casserole, I would choose this one. It was nice to have an dinner all in one pan. Veggies, protein and bread–all together!
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 yellow onion, diced
3 large carrots, chopped
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1-2 cups mixed vegetables (I used corn, peas and green beans…frozen…shh)
2 c. beef stock
1/4 c. pumpkin puree
Pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin, and cayenne pepper
1/4 c. cornstarch, dissolved in water
1 1/2 c. flour
1 c. beer of your choice
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons melted butter
Heat the olive oil in a pan on medium and cook your onions until they turn clear. Drop in your ground beef and cook until it’s nice and browned. Set aside. In a saucepan, bring your beef stock and veggies (carrots and whatever mixed ones you choose) to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Let this cook for about 10 minutes until the carrots are tender. Once the veggies are done, separate them from the broth–you can put the veggies in with the meat and leave the broth in the saucepan. Add your water-cornstarch mixture and your pumpkin puree to your beef stock, bring to a boil, then back down to simmer again. Stir constantly until thickened, about 5 minutes or so. Season with a generous pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin, and cayenne pepper. At this point, you should probably preheat the oven to 350 in preparation for the baking of the bread-top. For your beer bread topping, fold all ingredients (except for the melted butter) together in a bowl until combined. Easy as that. Once all your separate parts are done, put the meat and veggies into an 8×8 square pan. Pour the gravy on top, making sure it’s evenly dispersed throughout the whole pan. Spread the beer bread batter over the whole thing with a spatula, pour the melted butter on top, and stick it in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. I would suggest putting a foil-lined cookie sheet under your pan just in case–my casserole was very close to overflowing. Remove from the oven and prepare for the ultimate comfort foodie meal.
Okay so yeah, this took a while. It’s just a lot of steps. But it was definitely worth it! I’d make it again. Also, it makes surprisingly good leftovers. So yeah.
OH also: MERRY CHRISTMAS, foodies! Hope you consumed plenty of deliciousness these past few days (I know I did). In fact, I probably consumed enough cookies for several people my size. Yeah, actually, I definitely did. Without a doubt. That’s what the holidays are about though, right (…)? Recipe for my holiday dessert to come!