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Creamy, cheesy and absolutely tasty, this Mashed Potatoes and Beef Casserole is a perfect make ahead dinner for busy nights.
Can you believe is already September? This year is just flying by. Next thing we know Christmas will be here and just like that it will be a new year. I mean Fall is right around the corner and most of us are already thinking apple pie, banana bread and pumpkin spice lattes. But first, we have to get through this heat wave that has decided to show up at the last minute to accompany kids all around New York on their first week of school.
For working parents like myself, the time for easy meals has finally come. Nothing makes a working mom happier, than the ability to get home and put together a delicious meal without to much hassle. Well, I can think of a couple of things: wine and not having to cook at all. The wine can be negotiable, but not cooking at all is not a luxury many of us have. I mean, people have to eat. Right?
This Mashed Potatoes and Beef Casserole is as easy as they come. The pastelon de papas is, I believe, the Latin version of a Shepherd’s Pie. To be honest, I’ve never made Shepherd’s Pie. But, from what I hear, it consists of the same ingredients, mashed potatoes and beef stew, layered simultaneously in the same way as this casserole. Maybe with the exception of cheese, or maybe not? I should probably go Google that.
Anyhow, to make this casserole all you need is to make some mash potatoes and set them aside. Season about one pound of lean ground beef with some onions, peppers, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. Heat up a couple tablespoons of oil in a medium pan and cook beef until browned. Add tomato sauce and a cup of water. Let simmer until the liquid has reduced completely. In a glass baking pan, add a layer of potatoes followed by a layer of beef and then sprinkle with mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Add another layer of mashed potatoes and top with more cheese. Place in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Yeap! That’s it. Get ready to eat and enjoy!
Leave a comment below and tell me all about your favorite back-to-school dinner meal. I’ll love to hear about it.
Mashed Potatoes and Beef Casserole (Pastelón de Papas)
- 6-7 large potatoes
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¾ cup milk
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- ½ medium red onion , chopped
- ½ medium green bell pepper , chopped
- 1 large garlic clove , minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons salt , divided
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 pound ground beef
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- 1 cup of water
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium pot, boil the potatoes with 1 teaspoon of salt, until tender. Remove potatoes from the pot and using a potato masher, mash the potatoes until they are made pure. Add the butter and milk, and combine well. Set aside.
- Season the meat with the onion, pepper, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper.
- In a medium pan, heat the oil over medium-hot heat. Add the meat and let cook until brown. Add the tomato sauce and water. Let simmer until all the liquid had evaporated.
- Lightly spray a glass baking pan with cooking spray. Add a layer of mash potatoes to the bottom of the pan. Then, add a second layer with all the cooked ground beef. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella and mild cheddar cheese. Spread another layer of mash potatoes and top with the rest of the cheese.
- Place in the oven, uncovered, for about 15-20 minutes or until the cheese has completely melted.
- Serve warm.
- This casserole can be made ahead and placed in the fridge after been assembled. When ready to eat, simply place in the oven covered for 30 minutes and then uncovered for an additional 15 minutes.
- I love this casserole with ground beef, but you can also make it with ground lamb, chicken or turkey.
- Feel free to add in other veggies like carrots or mushrooms if you like.