Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ground Beef...

Ground beef can be an inexpensive meat... (you can get it on sale for less than $2/pound), but what can you do with it besides spaghetti & hamburgers???

My son is a VERY picky eater, but he has labeled this recipe "his favorite" which surprises me because it is a mish mash of ingredients... I have to admit though, the flavor is to die for!

If you need a new, CHEAP recipe for ground beef (made with ingredients that often come on sale), try my VERY fast and easy version of Shepherds pie, an old English favorite. This makes quite a lot... you will definitely have leftovers if you are feeding a family of 4. (And my family includes two hungry teenagers!)

(Reminder: I never measure or write recipes down... so you may have to adjust seasonings to taste.)

1 1/2 - 2 pounds of ground beef
2 TBSP Onion powder
1 TBSP Italian seasoning
2 cups frozen peas
6 TBSP brown gravy powder mix (or 2 small pkgs)
1 1/2 - 2 cups hot water
*1 box of Betty Crocker Sour Cream & Chive mashed potatoes
8-12 oz shredded cheese

Spray a 13x9 glass pan with cooking spray. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef till cooked well. Drain off excess fat. (If I have bought ground beef with a higher percentage fat, I like to run the ground beef under hot water in a strainer after cooking to remove as much fat as I can, then return the meat to the pan and cook for a minute or two to cook off any additional water.)

Stir in the onion powder, Italian seasoning and peas. Let simmer on med-high while you move on to the next step.

In a small bowl, whisk together the hot water and gravy powder till there are no lumps. Slowly pour the mixture into your ground beef while stirring. This mixture will thicken quickly, so keep stirring. (If the sauce seems a little thick, add a little more hot water and stir.)

Pour ground beef mixture into the prepared pan, sprinkle with 1/2 of the shredded cheese and set aside.

The box of potatoes has two packages in it. Prepare both of them according to the directions on the box. Spread the cooked potatoes over the ground beef and layer of cheese, top with remaining cheese, and bake at 425 for about 20 mins.

Serve with salad and rolls on the side. :)

*If you want to go the extra mile on this recipe, you can make homemade mashed potatoes from scratch.

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