This dish uses some good summer garden produce as well as mushrooms and meat. I used ground elk, but ground beef works just as well.
If you want to prep a little bit ahead, you can boil the potatoes several hours or even a day or two before. They definitely take the longest to cook. Just store them in the fridge until you are ready for them. Then you would do the sauce and meat at the same time.
Creamy Zucchini and Beef Casserole
2.5 pounds red potatoes, boiled until tender then peeled and diced
1 pound ground meat
1/2 large onion, diced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced (optional)
2 small zucchini or 1 zucchini and 1 summer squash, sliced
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
4 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
1 heaping teaspoon beef bouillon
2 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 cups colby jack cheese, shredded
Oven temp: 350 degrees
1. In a large pot boil the potatoes until tender - about 45 minutes. The skins should slip right off with your fingers. Dice into bite-sized pieces.
2. In a large skillet saute the meat and onion over medium-high heat until browned and tender, respectively.
3. Add in the zucchini, mushrooms, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender.
My daughter let me know how she feels about mushrooms with some creative carving. Feel free to omit them if you feel the same way.
4. While the meat and vegetables are cooking, start the sauce. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Cook 2 minutes more or until butter starts to brown and smell really good. Add in the bouillon and milk, whisking well. Cook on low, stirring often, until thick and bubbly.
5. Spray a 9x13 dish with cooking spray. Spread the potatoes out along the bottom. Arrange the meat and vegetables on top. Pour the sauce along the top, covering the surface. Sprinkle the cheese over everything.
6. Bake in a 350 degree oven 30 minutes or until cheese is browned. Serve hot!
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