Tag Archives: carrots

Biscuit Topped Italian Casserole

Sometimes a stumbled upon recipe in a catalogue or magazine or flyer  really resonates with your family and it becomes part of the regular menu lineup.  This casserole is one such that i found probably 20 years ago.  The beauty of it, is that it is easily modified to accommodate your own tastes and whatever you have on hand (within reason of course!)

The original recipe is pictured way below, but the one i made yesterday included my home raised green beans and home grown grass finished ground beef.  For chopping the vegetables i use a mini food chopper and even chop the green beans if i’m preparing for Sunday’s meal with Allen’s 98-year-old Aunt June.  She has lost her teeth and can’t keep track of dentures – so it is what it is.

Family sized version:

2 lbs grass-finished ground beef

1 medium sized onion – chopped

3 medium sized carrots – chopped

1-2 cups Asian long pole green beans – chopped

1 24 oz jar of Eden Organic tomatoes  (normally i use my home raised tomatoes, but i’ve already run out!)  Eden’s brand is excellent, but, honestly, to open them, i either need my stout son, Dallas, to do it, or i go get my long handled Channel Lock pliers.  It’s really ridiculous.

2 cups of your favourite cheese, divided – 1 1/2 cups to stir into veggie/beef mix, 1/2 cup to top off the casserole.  Or stir in 2 cups of cheese to melt – whatever your choice!

Brown the ground beef in a 4 quart pot and add all the vegetables, including the tomato sauce, throw in maybe a tablespoon of salt (check your tomato sauce – it may already have salt in it – i try to use straight tomatoes) and a teaspoon of black pepper -whatever suits ya, and let it simmer for 20 minutes or so.  Add 1 1/2 cups of your favourite cheese and stir to melt.

Once the mix is ready, pour into a 9×13 inch pan, level it off, then top with biscuits.  I make my own, but you can buy some to use.  Then sprinkle about a cup of shredded cheese on top.  Then add a sprinkling of parsley, basil, or oregano if you like.

Bake in a preheated oven of 375 F for about 28 minutes until cheese is melted and biscuits are golden brown.  This makes 6-8 servings.  Takes about an hour to make and bake, but if there are leftovers, it’s still a time saver.  What does it cost?  that will totally depend on the quality of ingredients you purchase.

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i mix my own biscuits up, then roll the dough to 1/4 inch and use this small juice glass to make 2 inch diameter biscuits.  But you could make larger ones, just not thicker- remember the heat to cook the casserole is reduced so thicker biscuits may not cook through.
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After pouring the beef/veggie/cheese mix into a 9×13 inch baking dish, top it with the biscuits.

 

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Then add about 1 cup of shredded cheese
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Sprinkle on some parsley if you like, then bake in a 375 F oven about 28 minutes.
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Finished casserole – YUMMY!
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Here’s the original recipe i cut out of a magazine a couple decades ago!

Buon Appetito!

 

tauna

Both my guys are sick!

Well, buggers, both my husband and son are sick with the croupy head and coughing junk.  Dallas has had it for nearly 10 days, my husband got hit yesterday, but woke up with it already down in his lungs – he sounds bad.  If he feels bad in the morning, he’s gonna go ahead and make a doctor appointment.

Since we are nearly out of beef in the freezer and completely out of bones, I stole the big bones that were intended for the dog that i had the butcher cut from our own grass finished cow to make broth! (thankfully, i was able to get a cow booked in to the butcher on the 6th of February).

The bones are kind of big, but thankfully, they still fit in the pot.  I pack the bones in the pot and fill to 2 inches to the top of the pot.  Bring to a boil, but watch it or it will boil over and make a mess, then turn it down and let slow boil for 3-4 hours.

With tongs, carefully lift out all the bones.  I then set the entire pot outside to cool so the saturated fat will float to the top and solidify.  Yes, a little fat is good, but these bones will make a lot of fat, it’s really overwhelming in our opinion.  Once solidified, i remove it from the top and put into a tub with lid for later use.

Warm the remaining liquid.  Now, you can just eat it this way for clear broth – maybe add some salt or pepper OR what i did tonight, was to the 1 gallon of broth is one large onion chopped and sauteed in some of the beef fat, 1/2 cup dried parsley, 1/4 cup dried sage, 2 tablespoons celery salt, and about 3 cups of sliced carrots.  Slow boil until carrots are softened to however you like them, maybe 20-30 minutes.  Ready to serve.

Keep well!

tauna

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King’s Processing does a fabulous job of getting all the bits of beef off the bones, so the meat yield is quite high. However, you can see there are some bits on this that may be available after it’s cooked.
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Yup, after cooking and the meat is softened, i was able to pick up about 1 cup of beef bits. Always let those bones cool off completely before handling; they are hot and hold heat for a very long time.
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Use a couple tablespoons or so of the hardened beef fat to saute chopped onions that will be added back to the broth once softened.

Hamburger Soup

Sunny, but frosty out this morning and although we are expecting a high of 45F, warm soup will feel mighty good today.

Hamburger Soup

1 lbs grass-finished ground beef (browned)

1 cup sliced carrots

1/2 chopped onion

2 cups diced tomatoes

2 cups water or soup stock

1 cup diced celery

2 teaspoons salt (if desired)

1 teaspoon black pepper (if desired)

One pot directions:  brown the ground beef in 1 tablespoon olive oil until no longer pink, add all the other ingredients and simmer.  The longer you simmer it, the more the flavours will meld and veggies soften.

Be creative in ingredients – celery substitute could be the leaves off the back of a head of cauliflower or chopped kohlrabi, leeks would work.  Instead of carrots, maybe turnips, swedes, or rutabaga.  I use my own frozen tomatoes from my garden and since i don’t really cook them down, there is plenty of water in with them, therefore i don’t add more water.  Recipes like this are perfect for emptying the frig or freezer.

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The leaves off the back of a head of cauliflower make a LOT of greens for soup!  Add vitamins A and C plus antioxidants to your meal, not the rubbish bin!

Vegetable & Beef Soup

Since both sons are still croupy and sick, and it’s still bitterly cold outside, another batch of soup is on the menus today.

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If you can, try buying beef in split sides, half, or whole carcasses – This will save a lot of money and allow you to buy a premium product. Check with your local producer. Of course, we raise our own and have it processed at a local state inspected custom butcher, King Processing in Marceline, MO

Last night, a 1 lb package of  boiling beef was set out to thaw in the kitchen sink, then this morning, I dropped the meat into a 3 quart pot (I like my old copper bottom Revere Ware, but beware of the thin new stuff, it won’t sit flat on the burner for long) and added about 2 quarts of water and set to boil.  As soon as the water comes to a boil, turn down the heat to simmer for 2-3 hours.  Meat will become very tender.  Take out the meat and let cool.  While it is cooling, I add about 1 1/2 cups of chopped celery, 1 cup sliced carrots, and 1 chopped medium size onion.  I know that’s a lot of onion, but onions are supposed to have curative properties, so I push the limit.  Also, I add up to 2 tablespoons of garlic powder, 4 tablespoons dried parsley, 2 teaspoons dried sage, and 1 teaspoon powdered thyme along with a teaspoon of black pepper and 1-2 tablespoons Real salt.  Pull the beef off the bones and any sinew and pull apart into bite sized pieces and add back to the pot.  Let simmer for a while, once the veggies are cooked through, it’s ready, but even longer will allow the flavours and spices to meld, so enjoy leftovers!

 I have some day old bread that needs using up, so thin slices will be placed in the bottom of the bowl and the soup poured over top.
I have some day old bread that needs using up, so thin slices will be placed in the bottom of the bowl and the soup poured over top.

Use organic ingredients if at all possible!  Adjust and substitute to your family’s tastes.

Stay Warm!!!

Cheers!

tauna