Thursday, May 7, 2009

Being Real with a Recipe Flop!

The ladies over at Home Ec 101 are starting a new blog meme called Fearless Fridays.  It is going along with their new series, "Kitchen Bravery", basically it is a meme to brag about your successes and failures in the kitchen.

I decided to play along today and humbly brag about a failure that I had in the kitchen this past week!  I am not sure what exactly went wrong with my main course meal on Monday night but to have only one or two people out of seven tolerate the meal means something was not right.

A little background...I am working at trying at least one recipe a week because I really need to get out of the rut of the same meals over and over again. In taking inventory of my freezer, I found that I had several packages of already browned ground beef and they were in need of getting used up.  So I did some recipe searches to find some ground beef recipes that did not use a tomato based sauce. 

I came across this Hobo Casserole over at Recipezaar that looked yummy and definitely fell into the new recipe category.  I decided to give it a try.  The only substitutions I did was using dry minced onion instead of fresh onion and garlic powder for the minced garlic.  I also made up some beef broth using water and bouillon for some of the milk. Everything else I used as according to the recipe. Here is how I put it together...

Hobo Casserole

2 lbs ground beef, browned (thawed from freezer)
8  potatoes, peeled, cubed and cooked
3 large carrots, peeled, diced, and cooked
2 tsp. garlic powder*
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 can 2% milk (used the soup can)
2 tbsp. minced onion*
4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce*
a few shakes of salt and pepper
1 beef bouillon in 1 cup of water for beef broth

Cook the potatoes and carrots on the stove until tender. While the potatoes and carrots are cooking, combine soup, spices, milk, broth and meat together in a separate bowl.   Once the potatoes and carrots are done, mix into the meat mixture.  Pour into your baking dish and cook at 350° for 30-40 minutes until heated through.

*spice amounts are approximate

The Results: It was fairly easy to put together. It smelled and looked appetizing. However, the texture was mushy, that it was hard not to have my(and hubby) gag reflex engage while I was eating it.  It was not very flavorful and what flavor there was seemed more of a bitter, vinegary taste, maybe because I did not measure out the spices or worcestershire sauce.   It also came out more like a stew/soup in consistency rather than casserole-y. 

Now I have a TON of it as leftover and not even sure if I can salvage it into a better dish as a "leftover makeover" or if I just need to bite the bullet and trash it.  

What do you think??  What could I have done differently? Do you think I should trash it or is there a way of salvaging it?  

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Heather Solos said...

First off, thank you so much for participating in Fearless Friday. It takes courage to admit when something doesn't work out as well as you hoped.
To tell the truth, I'm looking over the recipe and to me, it just looks like a bland kind of dish to start with.
If the potatoes weren't already mushy, I'd totally recommend sweating some veggies and turning it into mustgo soup, but if the texture is bad, further cooking really isn't going to improve it.
Sometimes we file it under live and learn.
With 8 potatoes it would probably take a lot more seasoning to have made the dish flavorful. Potatoes can absorb a lot of the salt, which is probably why the dish turned out bland.
Again, thanks for being a part of Home-Ec101!

sewingchick said...

The recipe sounds to me like "$hit on a Shingle" (pardon my french, but that's what the recipe is actually called!) It's ground beef, milk, and spices over toast (toast is the shingle part- you can probably guess what the ground beef is!) We like it at our house, so you may try to put your soupy concoction over toast, biscuits, noodles, rice, mashed potatoes, etc. Or to thicken it up, you can dump in some potato spuds. I do that alot when something's too runny. Good luck!

ToyLady said...

If I were making this to start with, I probably wouldn't have added the milk or the water in the broth - not if you want a "casserole" consistency. But it's a little late for that, huh?

That's too bad, though - I hate waste too!

Maybe, like Sewingchick said, thickening it with instant potatoes.

Do you have a dog? ;)

Teeter said...

Pour it into a pan and cook it down until you have it at a better consistency. Season with some salt to taste. Stick it back into a baking dish and sprinkle with cheese and stick it under the broiler for a few minutes, until the cheese is all melted. See if that helps. ;)