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Meat n Tator Casserole

Ground beef is bathed in a creamy gravy and topped with home fries and ooey gooey cheese, in this delicious casserole.





This was originally suppose to be Tater Tot Casserole, but my plans went awry. I had every intention of making TT casserole, but do you think I could find tater tots at the two grocery stores near our house? Who the heck doesn't carry tater tots? I guess they just aren't as popular here in Canada, as they are in the U.S. After not being able to find them at the second store, I decided to buy some frozen home fries to use in place of the tots. Sure it was a small change, and I could deal with that, LOL.

I started browning up my meat, with the intention of making my own cream of mushroom soup. I open the fridge, only to find that my hunny had use all the mushrooms to make himself an omelette, the past several days. So, no homemade cream of mush soup. Hmmm, what to do. I decided to throw in some red pepper, and onions and make a cream gravy for the ground beef. Which turned out pretty tasty! So that is how my Tater Tot casserole turned into a Meat 'n Tater casserole.





Meat 'n Tater Casserole

1 lb lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper chopped
2 Tbs flour
1 C beef broth
1/2 C milk
1/4 C herb and garlic cream cheese
salt and pepper
1 pkg diced hash brown potatoes
1 1/2 C marble cheddar, shredded
8 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef over medium high heat. Once the meat is no longer pink, add in the onion and peppers. Season with a pinch of salt and ground pepper and cook until onions become translucent; about 4-5 minutes.

Drain any fat from the skillet and sprinkle meat mixture with flour. Stir to coat the meat with the flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly stir in the beef broth; making sure to get to any lumps that might form. Once mixture is thickened, stir in the milk and cream cheese. Stir until cream cheese is melted; about 5 minutes. Stir in 3/4 of the bacon.

Pour beef mixture into a baking dish and top with hash brown potatoes, sprinkle with shredded cheese and remaining bacon. Bake, covered, for 40 minutes; until potatoes are cooked through and no longer cold.




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