Monday, January 5, 2009

Potato Beef Skillet

This is a picture of my youngest son (7). He was gobbling up all the celery sticks and decided to show off his recently lost tooth. It's blurry because it's darker in my kitchen and though my white balance was working I did not have a tripod to keep it still. Oh, and asking a hungry 7 year old to "stay very still" 3-4 times just doesn't work at my house.

Being semi-organized means that I don't always have something prepared for dinner on the nights we are at Irish Dance. Usually, that's because I really haven't given it much thought, nor have I purchased items that are edible.

Tonight was snowy and the roads were icy, traffic was crawling and everyone was hungry. I had plenty of time to think of something different and easy on the ride home, so I came up with this little idea. I even googled it when I got home just to see if someone else had any other suggestions on how to cook it. In semi-organized fashion, I even called ahead and asked hubby to brown the ground beef and peel potatoes. I love him!! He's amazing and extremely helpful!

The kids really loved this dish and asked me to make it again. I will! Next time I'll try to prepare the casserole before we leave for dance and just have the older kids put it in the oven. We served this dish with french bread & celery sticks loaded with cream cheese or peanut butter. It was a hit!

**Edited 1/6/09 to add** This recipe fed seven people with most of the kids taking a small second helping. I didn't have any leftovers.  If you have a smaller family just cut everything in half and you'll be just fine.  You may want to use a smaller baking dish if you choose to cut it in half.

Potato Beef Skillet

2 lbs lean ground beef
6-8 small- medium potatoes peeled and sliced thin
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup
2 c. Fat Free Milk
Spices, Salt & Pepper to taste (we used Garlic Powder)
Half a medium onion diced (optional)
2 c. grated cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brown ground beef and onion in skillet and remove grease. Heat olive oil in another skillet on medium-high heat, add potatoes, spices, salt & pepper. Turn potatoes until coated in oil and some potatoes have started to brown. Place lid on skillet to help cook potatoes. Turn often to prevent burning. You want the potatoes to crisp, but not too much.

In separate bowl combine soup and milk, stir until creamy. Add ground beef. Stir until mixed well.

When potatoes are finished add soup mixture and pour into a 13x9" pan. Add cheese and bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is starting to brown. I had to turn my oven up to 425 to hurry it along.

**You can also make this as a casserole** Place a layer of potatoes in the bottom of a 13x9" baking dish then add a layer of soup mixture. Repeat steps until finished. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Add cheese the last 15 minutes or so.

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