comfort essentials: cheesy beef & hash brown bake

★★★★★ 1
a recipe by
Andy Anderson !
Wichita, KS

This is an easy/peasy dish to throw together, and has comfort food written all over it. My two favorite times to serve it are as an early lunch, or later in the evening by the fire. I will usually make this recipe in single-served ovenproof dishes; however, you could chuck the whole thing into a baking dish, or just bake it directly in the skillet. Talk about a one-pan dish… you got it. The dish can be modified as to the type of beef, and/or the type of cheeses. Plus, I have an optional topping that I think sets the whole dish off. So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.

★★★★★ 1
serves 4
prep time 20 Min
cook time 40 Min
method Bake

Ingredients For comfort essentials: cheesy beef & hash brown bake

  • PLAN/PURCHASE
  • 1 lb
    ground beef, or other beef, like brisket, roast, etc.
  • 1 Tbsp
    grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 md
    yellow onions, diced
  • 8 oz
    hash browns, frozen variety, defrosted
  • 2 Tbsp
    sweet butter, unsalted
  • 2 Tbsp
    flour, all-purpose variety
  • 10 - 12 oz
    whole milk
  • 1 c
    cheese, freshly shredded, more on this later
  • salt, kosher variety, to taste
  • white pepper, freshly ground, to taste
  • red pepper flakes, or cayenne pepper, to taste
  • OPTIONAL TOPPING
  • 1/4 c
    panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 c
    parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 Tbsp
    sweet butter, unsalted, melted
  • spices (salt/pepper/etc.) have fun with it

How To Make comfort essentials: cheesy beef & hash brown bake

  • 1
    PREP/PREPARE
  • 2
    Gather your Ingredients (mise en place).
  • 3
    Add the ground beef to a skillet, over medium heat.
  • 4
    While the beef is cooking, break it up using a wooden spoon.
  • 5
    When the beef is cooked, remove from pan, and drain on paper towels.
  • 6
    Add the grapeseed oil to the pan, and then add the onions.
  • 7
    Cook until they soften, and begin to lightly brown, 3 – 5 minutes.
  • 8
    Remove from the pan, and add to the reserved ground beef.
  • 9
    Add the butter to the pan.
  • 10
    When the foaming subsides, add the flour, and stir to make a blonde roux.
  • 11
    Add the milk, and allow the mixture to simmer until it thickens, 3 – 5 minutes.
  • 12
    Chef’s Note: At this time, season the sauce with some salt, pepper, and cayenne, to taste.
  • 13
    Remove from the heat, and allow to cool for 20 minutes.
  • 14
    Place a rack in the upper-middle position, and preheat the oven to 350f (175c).
  • 15
    Return the reserved onions, and beef to the pan and stir to combine.
  • 16
    Add the hash browns, and incorporate them into the mixture.
  • 17
    Add the cheese and gently fold into the other ingredients.
  • 18
    Chef’s Note: The cheese is up to you… I use a combination of sharp white cheddar, and pepper jack… Have some fun with it.
  • 19
    OPTIONAL TOPPING
  • 20
    Combine the dry ingredients with the melted butter, and sprinkle over the top before baking… So yummy.
  • 21
    Chef’s Note: The topping gives the dish a little bit of a crunchy bite. Make the topping as spicy as you dare. In the colder months, I will add a bit of cayenne, white pepper, and even some red pepper flakes. In the warmer months, I have a tendency to be a bit more conservative. But that is just me.
  • 22
    BAKING THE DISH
  • 23
    You have several options here: 1. Rustic 1: Leave it in the skillet, and bake it. This makes it a truly one-dish recipe. Just make sure that your guests know that the pan is hot, hot, hot. 2. Rustic 2: You could use a glass baking dish, and bring it to the table. This method works well, when the skillet you used to cook the recipe is way too big. 3. Elegant: Serve it in individual ovenproof dishes. It is up to you… Chef’s prerogative.
  • 24
    Chef’s Tip: If you choose to serve it up in individual dishes, understand that you can freeze them, and when needed, defrost and bake.
  • 25
    Place into the preheated oven, and bake until the cheese is bubbly, and beginning to brown, 35 – 40 minutes.
  • 26
    PLATE/PRESENT
  • 27
    Let rest for a few minutes, and then serve it to your waiting guests. Enjoy.
  • 28
    Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

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