And, as you might suspect if you've read recipes I've posted before, there the recipe way, and my way. Sometimes deliberate, and sometimes, due to my learning disability with written instructions, it's always a kitchen adventure. First, for the recipe way.
Hunter's Venison Casserole
|Prep Time: 25 Minutes||Ready In: 1 Hour|
|Cook Time: 35 Minutes||Servings: 4|
2 cups buttery mashed potatoes
1 pound lean ground venison (or other
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup cottage cheese
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 cup shredded Colby Jack or Cheddar
|1.||Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).|
|2.||Spread mashed potatoes evenly in a 2-quart casserole dish; set aside. Brown the venison in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crumbly and no longer pink, set aside.|
|3.||Heat the canola oil in the skillet, then stir in the red onion, garlic, celery, and red bell pepper. Cook until the onion has softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in cooked venison, and season with Worcestershire, salt, and pepper. Spoon mixture onto potatoes in the casserole dish.|
|4.||Stir together eggs and cottage cheese in a small bowl; spread evenly over meat mixture. Top with tomato slices, and sprinkle with cheese.|
|5.||Bake, uncovered, in preheated oven until set, about 20 minutes.|
I find it odd that the recipe fails to mention you'll need potatoes and fails to mention what you ought to do with them. But, oh, well, perhaps it assumes I know. I guess you could buy a tub of buttery mashed potatoes (but they have a lot of unrecognizable ingredients), or you could mix up some instant, or you could make them the old fashioned way. Oh, and I don't peel potatoes. I know they now call that "rustic mash" to be swishy, but it increases the fiber and decreases the labor and wasted food. Just scrub them well. Best yet would be organic potatoes as the peels may still contain some pesticide (but so would the potato itself).
Not really feeling like making the mashed potatoes in order to layer them into a casserole the same night, I boiled and mashed them a couple of days ahead and kept them in the fridge. I used a LOT more than two cups. Two cups doesn't seem like much and I wanted left overs. So I perhaps smashed in darn near half of the 13x9 casserole dish with potatoes.
I used TWO lbs of ground beef and I didn't cook it separate from the veggies. I used a very large sweet onion, and a whole red bell pepper, and closer to 4 stalks of celery. I didn't use any oil and cooked them together (and the garlic) in a non-stick pan. Due to the increase of meat and veg, I know I used considerably more Worcestershire than 1 Tb. I didn't measure the salt and pepper...just dumped in what looked good to me.
I used one entire small container of cottage cheese, which I think is two cups instead of one. I kept the eggs to the designated 2. I increased the sliced (trust me, sliced looks better but diced serves and eats easier) tomato to whatever looked like it covered the top nicely. It will depend on the size of your tomatoes. Mine were small. I used sharp cheddar cheese and increased it to at least 2 cups.
My 13 x 9 casserole was heaped high. So I put a foil-lined baking sheet underneath it to prevent bubble-over.
I can't really tell you how the cooking time went because I wasn't sure when hubby would be home, and I had the casserole prepped early, so I put it in the oven on about 200 degrees for 2 hours or so. Since the potatoes were cold, and the meat and veg were precooked, it really only needed to heat through and melt the cheese.
Having the potatoes to boil/mash, and the meat/veg to precook, it is hardly a one-dish casserole. Those always rather chap my hide. This really is a Shepherd's pie of sorts, so would work well if you have left over mashed potatoes...it would save you that step. Or if you're thinking ahead, boil extra for other things. I still have some left over and I think I'll make potato pancakes with grilled steaks one night.
We liked it, and with the "beefing" up of the quantity, we have at least three meals out of it for two heavy eaters. If you are going to freeze left-overs, it works best to just refrigerate the left overs in the same casserole dish, and then the next day, the potatoes have solidified so that you can more easily cut the casserole down to size and lift it into other containers, or onto foil. Otherwise, you'll be blopping out blobs of it...which won't really matter either.
Serve it with a veg and some fruit and maybe rolls or biscuits and you've got a hearty meal.