Friday, October 14, 2016

Untraditional Green Bean Casserole

Look at me! Making my goal of posting twice in one week! Woot woot 😁

Really, I figured I better post this one since I had so much interest from the September Wrap-Up. The people want this recipe. The people clamor for it. And so, I shall share it-

This recipe takes me back to childhood. While I was growing up, I thought this was Green Bean Casserole. I had no idea that traditional Green Bean Casserole was a concoction of cream-of-something soup and crunchy onion straws. The moment I found out was when I spent Thanksgiving with a friend when I was about 17. I had heard that they were having Green Bean Casserole with Thanksgiving, and I was excited. Puzzled, as I wasn't sure why anyone would serve Green Bean Casserole on Thanksgiving, but nevertheless, excited. 

Imagine my confusion when my friend handed me this crunchy-onion-straw dish and informed me it was Green Bean Casserole. 

I looked at the dish. I looked at my friend. I looked at the dish. Then I politely put some on my plate. 

It was ok. I mean, it wasn't bad, it just wasn't what I was expecting. And today, I like traditional Green Bean Casserole enough to realize there's a place for it in this world. But, if I want Green Bean Casserole, this, this is what I mean!

If I had to compare this casserole to anything, it'd probably be a Shepherd's Pie. It's a creamy, savory ground beef and green bean base, topped with the creamiest of mashed potatoes and a handful of cheese. It is soooooooo good. Indeed, you can ask my mother- I used to ask for this dish for my special birthday dinner every year up until my teen years. You know, because then I was spending birthdays with friends. Ah, teenagers πŸ˜€

When I set out to make this, I didn't have a recipe. Just my memories. I knew the base was the flavor I needed to capture. I'd thrown everything in my skillet, all the flavorings that I thought would get me where I needed to go. 

But something was off...

I called my mom, and began the inquisition into what goes into this dish. Interestingly enough, she told me she got this recipe out of an old cookbook and it was not called Green Bean Casserole. She rattled off the ingredients, and I seemed to have them. I was scratching my head. I just decided to try something.

I added a little yellow mustard and a little sour cream to my base. I gave it a little taste and...

Did the happy dance! I'm proud to say this casserole was soooooo much like my mom's. I was in heaven!!

FYI- My mom said the dish was originally called Hamburger Pie. I did some Google searches, trying to find a similar recipe but I never did. I found pictures that looked similar but then all the recipes had the cream-of-something soups in them. 

This version has no cream-of-something soup in it. No condensed soups. The recipe makes a ton of filling too. Since there are only 2 adults in my household eating dinner on the norm, I froze half of the filling-

And made the rest of the casserole in a small 8 x 8 square pan. The perfect casserole size for 2 people as it serves about 4. This casserole has it all, and can truly be considered a one-dish meal. That's why I say it serves 4. The hubby and I had good-size meals out of this for dinner, and then I got 2 more lunches out of it. Not to mention all the filling in the freezer, just waiting for the next casserole. 

Potatoes on top of the green bean filling 🍠

Cheese on top of the potatoes πŸ§€

And then, a few garden chives for the topping!

Oh yes! This is one of the best things on a cold day, EVER!

You want this. Trust me. It's a classic, comforting dish that will forever and always remind me of childhood. And winter. And my birthday. And my mom's cooking. But mainly my birthday and some amazingly delicious memories 😍😍😍

Have a great weekend friends!

Ingredients (serves 8):

Beef Filling-
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 lb ground beef, 93/7 mix
2 tbsp flour
2-2 1/2 cups beef broth
3 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp yellow mustard
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 lbs fresh green beans, trimmed
1 cup sour cream 

Mashed Potatoes-
8-9 medium potatoes, chopped (I used red)
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whole milk
salt and pepper

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tbsp chives, thinly sliced


1. Preheat oven to 350ΒΊ. Coat a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray, set aside.
2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. When warm, add onion. SautΓ© for 5-7 minutes, or until softened. Add hamburger to the pan, stirring to crumble. When hamburger has been browned and broken down, add flour to the pan. Stir around pan for 2-3 minutes, to allow the raw flour flavor to cook out. Slowly add 2 cups of beef broth, stirring constantly. Add the Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir in the green beans. Bring mixture to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the green beans are tender. If mixture becomes too thick, thin it out with remaining beef broth. Remove mixture from heat, stir in sour cream, and set aside. 
2. Place potatoes in a large pot. Fill with water, ensuring water covers potatoes by at least an inch. Place pot on stove and bring to a boil. Boil for 15-25 minutes, or until potatoes are easily pierced by a fork. Remove from heat, drain. Place potatoes in a mixing bowl. Add butter, sour cream, and milk and mix with a hand mixer until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
3. Spread green bean mixture into casserole pan. Top with mashed potatoes. Top with cheese. Cover pan with foil, and place in oven. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil. Bake for another 10 minutes. Remove casserole from heat, and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Sprinkle chives over casserole. Serve immediately. 

*Chef's Note- The beef filling freezes nicely. I chose to make half the casserole, and to freeze the other half of the filling. To make a half-casserole, coat an 8 x 8 square pan with cooking spray. Place half the beef mixture into the pan. Prepare the potatoes by cutting the recipe in half- 4-5 potatoes, 2 tbsp butter, 1/4 cup sour cream, and 1/4 cup milk. Use 1/2 cup of cheese to top the casserole. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil, and bake for another 5. Remove from heat and allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving. 

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  1. This looks so good and easy! Thanks for sharing.

    As a newlywed way back in the early '70's I got the cookbook '365 Ways to Cook Hamburger', this should have been in there. :-)

    Have a great weekend Jessica ~ FlowerLady

    1. My mom couldn't remember what the title of the book was that she got the recipe from but she said it was something like 50 ways to stretch meat to stretch your dollar. I've always loved recipes aimed towards that!

      Hope you are having a great week FlowerLady! 😁

  2. This is the Green Bean Casserole I grew up with!!! Comfort food at its finest!

    1. I love that! I don't think there's a lot of us out there who grew up with this as Green Bean Casserole! 😜 And I agree, comfort food at it's finest!

  3. This looks like a super comforting dinner... but green bean casserole it is not ;-) It does look delicious though and I'd be happy to help you eat it if you just want to make the big pan! I will have to give it a try soon.

    1. Ha ha! Yes, I've been told that quite often, this is NOT Green Bean Casserole. That being said, it is quite delicious on its own merits! 😁

  4. I've never had a dish like this and I only tasted the cream-of-something green bean dish either.......we just had green beans, new potatoes and a little bacon thrown in. I'm going to try out this casserole soon and may be adding it to our weekly rotation this winter!

    1. I hope you like the recipe Kelli! It's become an instant classic here! 😁

  5. I love the story of you expecting this dish, but got the "cream of" casserole!
    Your recipe reminds me of a dish my mom used to make years ago, but I don't remember any sour cream in hers. This sounds so delish! I am excited to try it. I know my husband will love it!

    1. There actually isn't any sour cream in the beef mixture that my mom makes, but my dish was slightly different from her's. Her's uses beef bouillon to make the gravy where I used flour and beef stock. I don't know if that's where I lost flavor but I found the sour cream added something that I felt was missing. All I know is it worked 😁

      I hope you enjoy the recipe Kris!


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