Recipes using ground meat were very popular when I lived in Russia, probably because ground meat is the kind of ingredient that allows a lot of variety. Potato casserole with ground meat is the dish used to be cooked by our moms and grandmas. I don’t know the origins of it, but I can say for sure that it is a traditional dish of Russian cuisine.
My recipe of potato casserole includes only two ingredients – potatoes and ground meat, everything else is optional. If you would like to make a tasty dinner for a large family and get it done quickly – my casserole is for you. Potato-meat casserole can also be cooked with a variety of vegetables – cauliflower, broccoli etc. Vegetables can be mixed and matched in any variations. Also, pretty much any type of ground meat goes – pork, beef or a mix. Before using ground meat for your casserole, fry it with caramelized onions or chopped garlic to give it some extra flavor.
For more Russian recipes, visit Russian Cuisine page.
"Kortofelnaya Zapekanka" - Beef & Potato Сasserole
- 2 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 3/4 cup milk or half-and-half
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 1 lb. ground beef
- salt, to taste
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh herbs (parsley, dill)
- 2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
To cook the potatoes: In a large saucepan over high heat, combine the potatoes, water to cover and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, 15 minutes. Drain well.
Mash the cooked potatoes in the bowl using a potato masher. Add hot milk or half-and-half, egg, and butter, and beat with a wooden spoon or with a handheld mixer on medium speed until smooth and fluffy. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, in another large saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and carrots and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the ground beef and bring to a simmer. Add the salt and spices. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cook through, 15 minutes.
Spread the mashed potatoes evenly onto a shallow baking dish. Spoon the hot beef filling over mashed potatoes. Then you can either spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the filling or using a pastry bag make a potato look pretty. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and place under the broiler. Broil the potato pie until the potatoes are tinged with brown, about 1 minute. Serve directly from the baking dish.