YAY! It’s time again for The Secret Recipe Club reveal! I always look so forward to this day, like an anxious kid at Christmas! This club is a group of wonderful bloggers that secretly get assigned to another member of the club each month. We make, photo and review one our assigned blogger’s recipes, and then on reveal day, we all get to see who had who and what everyone made! 😀 SO much fun, and such a treat to get to make a recipe that you probably wouldn’t normally get to make! 😀
This month I was assigned to such a sweet blogger who lives out in the midwest! Ashley, who’s blog name is so cute, Cheese Curd In Paradise!, makes her home in Appleton, Wisconsin, with her hubby Ron and adorable 2 year old son, Kellen! She’s a beautiful, social butterfly surrounded by many good friends that she loves to spend time with! We have lots of things in common like watching our favorite shows, “Law and Order’s SVU” and “The Walking Dead”! We also love an ice cold beer (or three! 😉 ) while watching our favorite teams play football! Only…..she’s a Green Bay Packer fan and I’m her rival, a Chicago Bears fan! Ha! 😀 (My Dad was a Packer fan, though, and would’ve been on her side of the living room! 😉 ) 😀 Too funny!! She enjoys tons of fun activities like going to local festivals, parks and museums, going apple picking and having the apples pressed into cider on a nearby island, spending time on Lake Michigan at their cottage, and takes politics very seriously, just as I do, too! 🙂
She has an enormous collection of wonderful recipes, and I had a very long, bookmarked list to narrow down! 😀 I had already made too many sweets lately, so I went straight for the savory stuff! 😉 And it was so hard to choose, (everything sounded good!), that I finally let my hubby take a peek! He’s a good little helper! 😉 And as soon as he saw her Scalloped Hamburger Casserole, his eyes lit up like a kid on Christmas morning, too! (I now know what he looked like at age 7! 😉 ) Sometimes the simplest things are the ones that tug at the heartstrings, and he said his Mom used to make this one and it instantly reminded him of her. (He was a little teary-eyed! I know!!) 🙂 I never got to meet her, she had already passed away when I met him, but he often fondly talks about what a wonderful southern cook she was! So this was definitely the recipe to make! 😀 How could anyone say no to that? 😉 A few of the others in the running were her close-to-her-Grandma’s Swedish Meatballs (my Grandma was Swedish, too!), or Ashley’s Creamy Taco Mac, Baked Ziti with Mini Meatballs, Taco Ranch Chicken, or Scalloped Potatoes and Ham! I KNOW!! See what I mean?! They ALL sound like perfect cold weather comfort food for the soul! 😀
I could hardly wait to make this, and I bet you’re wanting to make this soon, too, so let’s get started right away! I’ll quickly show you how to make this….it’s easy and you’re going to LOVE it! 😀
I did this all in one pan, but you can make it a little bigger and do it in a 13 x 9 dish if you’d like. But since it’s just me and my hubby, I did this in my deep, “chicken fryer” cast iron skillet.
So sauté your onions in the butter, getting them started first, then add your hamburger and sauté until done. I removed the meat and onions to a bowl using a slotted spoon, and rinsed and wiped out the pan.
Then generously butter your pan or baking dish, and preheat your oven to 350º. (Horrid photo, sorry, but you get the idea… )
In a large measuring pitcher, whisk together your milk, cream, flour and seasonings, and slice your potatoes nice and thin. I cheated and used red potatoes instead of russets because you don’t have to peel them. It’s nice to not have that extra step, and also nice that you don’t lose those extra vitamins in the skins. Win, win! 😉
Then just start layering! Do a nice layer of one third each the potatoes, then the beef and onions, the shredded cheese, and evenly drizzle with the cream sauce mixture.
Repeat this two more times making three layers! (I did sneak in a bit more cheese. Even though I’m from Illinois and Indiana, I’m a total “cheesehead” when it comes to cheese! 😉 Ha! I may just have a little Wisconsin in me after all! 😀 )
Also, give each potato layer a gentle press to compact everything and make it level and even.
Then just put a lid on it, pop this baby into the oven, and bake it for one hour. Take the lid off, and bake it for another 35 – 45 minutes. (*Since I had a little cheese leftover, I thought, what the heck, and topped it with just a little more halfway through the second baking so that any exposed beef wouldn’t get overly done.)
Isn’t it GORGEOUS??!!
Now the HARD part….let this rest for about 15 minutes, at least, before digging in. I know, it’s going to be tough, but you can do it!!!! 😀
This casserole was sooooo good!! And my hubby said it was even better than his moms!!! *gasp* (Did anyone get that on video?!?! ) 😉
Honestly, this could not have been a better recipe to make. I really had fun making it, it tasted fantastic, and my hubby was so very happy!!! That guy was smiling so big he looked like he was eatin’ a banana sideways! 😀
Thank you so very much, Ashley, for this heartwarming, cheesy, rich n’ creamy casserole recipe! It will be made and enjoyed for YEARS to come! 😀
Please take the time to pop over to Ashley’s blog, Cheese Curd In Paradise,
for more wonderful recipes like this, and so much more!
Also be sure to check out the rest of our group’s prepared dishes!
Just click on any picture below, and it will take you directly to the recipe! 😀
Hope you enjoy and find lots of new recipes to try! 😀
Recipe adapted from Cheese Curd In Paradise.
- 2 lbs. red potatoes, unpeeled and sliced thinly (up to 3 lbs. can be used per size of pan / can sub peeled russet potatoes) *see notes
- 2 Tbl. butter
- 1 medium-sized white onion, diced
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ⅓ cup flour
- ½ tsp. coarse ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- 1½ cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
- 1½ cups shredded mozzarella and provolone blend cheese (I used Sargento's Off the Block Traditional)
- Preheat oven to 350º F. *If using a 9 x 13 baking dish, grease with butter or cooking spray.
- Heat the 2 Tbl. butter in cast iron skillet. Add onions and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add beef and cook until no longer pink. Move skillet from heat, and with a slotted spoon remove beef and onions from skillet and place into a medium sized bowl. Pour out grease from skillet. Wipe out skillet with paper towel and butter insides and bottom if using to bake in.
- In large bowl, whisk flour, salt, garlic powder and black pepper with milk and cream until completely combined.
- Using a mandoline (or kitchen knife), slice potatoes into ⅛-inch slices. Layer ⅓ of the potato slices into the cast iron skillet (or baking dish). Sprinkle on ⅓ of the beef mixture, then ⅓ of the cheeses, then pour on ⅓ of the cream and milk mixture.
- Repeat this twice more, ending with a sprinkling of cheese and a pouring on of the rest of the cream mixture. Cover skillet (or baking dish) with lid or foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove lid or foil, and bake for an additional 35 - 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender. (*Test with a knife. If a knife inserted near center goes through like butter with no resistance, potatoes are tender.) *I added an additional ½ cup cheese on top during last 15 minutes.)
- Let rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.
- *Garnish with a little snipped green onion or chopped parsley if you'd like.
*Though I used less potatoes than the original recipe called for, I kept the sauce amounts the same and added a little more cheese. So you may want to increase the sauce and cheese if making a larger casserole than what I did.