Monday, December 7, 2009

Comfort Casserole

This weekend it was cold and frosted over in the Seattle area. Christmas lights were up and in my house, we were waiting for Saint Nicholas to visit. So it was the perfect weather for meaty comfort food and a nice glass of red wine! Whenever I think of these things, my mouth waters for Connecticut Beef Supper.

This recipe has been on my family since the mid 1970's and has been served for dinner parties, family get togethers and weekend meals. Whatever the cause, no one walks away hungry!

My mother first found this dish in the February 1976 edition of Sphere and was submitted by Dick Wernsman of Chicago (my mother still has the original page from the magazine).

Below is the original recipe and after are some additions/substitutions that I have made over the years.

Connecticut Beef Supper

2 pounds stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 large onions, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
1 jar (4 1/2 ounces) whole mushrooms
4 medium potatoes, pared, thinly sliced
1 can (10 1/2 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup dairy sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
Cracker crumbs or fine dry bread crumbs
  1. Season meat with salt and pepper. Cook and stir meat and onions in olive oil in large skillet over medium heat until meat is brown and onions are tender; pour off oil.
  2. Drain mushrooms, reserving liquid. Add enough water to mushroom liquid to make 1 cup. Stir mushrooms and liquid into meat and onions. Heat to boiling; reduce heat and cover. Simmer 2 hours.
  3. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Pour meat mixture into baking dish, 13 1/2 x 8 3/4 x 1 3/4 inches. Arrange potatoes over meat. Mix soup, milk, sour cream, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; pour over potatoes. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake uncovered 1 hour. Sprinkle with cracker crumbs if desired; bake uncovered until potatoes are tender and crumbs are brown, 20 to 30 minutes.
These are my changes/additions:
  • I never use canned mushrooms, I always use fresh. So I add the fresh mushrooms to my meat & onions right before I pour it in to the casserole dish.
  • Try using either wine or broth instead of water for more flavor.
  • Add a clove of garlic to the meat & onion mixture.
  • Make sure that the potatoes are cut extremely thin - you could also par boil them a bit.
  • Remember to serve this with lots of crusty bread - you will want something to sop up all the sauce!
Please enjoy this dish with your friends and family too!


phairhead said...

wow! that looks so warm and nummy!

Greta said...

It is amazing and is even better on the second day!

Lydia said...

I love it! This recipe came out in February 1976; the month and year of my birth. All things Feb '76 rock!

moirao said...

Sounds like something hubby would like...thanks!