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[personal profile] ilyena_sylph posting in [community profile] batchlunch
Wow, I've been gone a long time. Sorry, y'all.

I had ground beef, potatoes, and peppers that needed to be used last Sunday, so I hunted up a casserole recipe that would let me do so.

Ingredients:

* 2 cups sliced raw potatoes (about 1/3 inch thick rounds)
* 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
* 1 pound extra lean ground beef
* 1 cup thinly sliced onions
* 1 cup sliced mushrooms
* 1/2 to 1 cup chopped green bell pepper or mixture of green and red bell pepper
* 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
* 2 teaspoons salt
* 1/4 teaspoon seasoned pepper
* 1 teaspoon ground hyssop
* bell pepper rings for garnish

Preparation:
The original recipe I used was a little shy of instructions, and basically read to me like you just layered the ingredients into an 8x12-inch casserole dish all raw, and just let it bake for 1 & 1/2 to 2 hours at 350 degrees F. I... didn't like that plan. At all. Also, that looked awfully bland to me.

So, like usual when I don't like a recipe, I mucked with it. This unfortunately made way more dishes, but I think it turned out better than it otherwise would have.

I started out by browning the hamburger and half of the onion in a big nonstick pan -- along with salt and about a teaspoon and a half of ground hyssop -- and scooping the beef/onions out into a bowl once it was done. I then dropped the mushrooms into the grease and oil from the hamburger and sauteed them until they were mostly done and shifted them into another bowl (though I could have left them in the pan, I suppose).

Then I started actually putting the casserole together.

I covered the bottom of the casserole dish with the sliced potatoes, about two layers deep, and salted them. Then scattered the rest of the onions on, added the celery in a layer, spread the beef as the next layer, then the peppers, then the mushrooms, then the diced tomatoes, then the pepper rings for garnish.

And then it went into the oven and baked, covered in foil, for an hour and a half at 350.

It still came out just a little bland, but it was great with Parmesan cheese, or garlic powder, added to it.

If I were doing it again, I think I would add a couple of teaspoons of minced garlic into the beef and onion mixture, another teaspoon of hyssop (or whatever other savory spice I can get my mitts on and smells good that day). And definitely add parmesan or romano as soon as it's out of the oven and half cooled.

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