This Cottage Pie Casserole was a go to meal when my kids were growing up because it was an easy dinner those nights when you got home late, still had so much to do before bedtime and you wanted comfort food that was easy to make. Bonus: any leftovers freeze well to pull out another night.
The ground beef with onions, olives, parsley, celery and tomato paste make a delicious combination. Layer over that, creamy fluffy homemade mashed potatoes and top with cheddar cheese for a delicious lunch or dinner.
You can use your own recipe for homemade mashed potatoes or (I can’t believe that I am going to say this!) Instant potatoes…….. I only add this because, yes I am guilty of using them a couple times when dinner just had to get on the table.
2 lbs Hamburger Meat Ground Chuck
1 med Onion
1-1/2 Stalks Celery
1/2 Green Pepper (1 whole pepper if very small)
4-5 Green Olives w/ pimentos chopped
1 can 12 oz Tomato Paste
1 tsp Garlic Powder or 2 Fresh Clove Garlic crushed
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Basil
1 TBS Fresh Parsley chopped
1 TSP Olive Oil
8 oz or 2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste – Add Salt at end since the olives are salty
Cut up celery and onion in bite size pieces, saute in Skillet with a little oil, until onion is translucent. Remove vegetables, add hamburger and cook until done. Drain grease and return hamburger to pan with the celery and onion add green olives. Add all spices and 1/3 cup water. Let simmer uncovered 8 minutes or until the water has almost all evaporated. Add tomato paste mixing well. Set aside.
3 lbs Idaho Potatoes
1 Bay Leaf
1 tsp Salt
1 Stick Butter
1/2 cup Container Sour Cream
1/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1/2 – 3/4 cup Milk
1 TBS Mayonnaise ( not Miracle Whip)
Peel potato’s and add to pot of cold water with enough water to cover potatoes. Add in a bay leaf, and salt. Boil uncovered about 10 minutes or until fork tender. Drain water and return potatoes to pot. Remove bay leaf. Add stick of butter and mash until soft. Add Sour Cream and mix well. Heat up milk in Microwave or stove top. Add Milk to potato’s a little at a time while using a mixer. When the potatoes have absorbed the milk, add the mayonnaise. Whip potato’s until a fluffy consistency. You can also add a cup of cheese to the potato’s for more cheesy flavor.
Other things you can do to for more flavor is add some onion powder, salt and pepper, or what ever spices you like in your home made potatoes.
The mayonnaise will make them pop with flavor and very few know why your potato’s are so great!
For a richer mashed potato you could also replace 1/3 cup of Milk with Evaporated Milk.
In a 13 x 9 Baking Pan, place the meat mixture on the bottom, cover with potatoes and top with the cheddar cheese.
Bake on 350 degree’s for 20 minutes.
Hint: Better made the day before or make and freeze for another night.