This is one of those simple but comforting one-dish meals made with economical ground beef that everyone loves. I often make the meat base ahead and tuck it away in the freezer, ready to defrost and reheat quickly in the microwave oven while I preheat the oven and make the easy biscuit topping.
What to do with leftover tomato paste once you’ve opened a can? I place tablespoonfuls (15 mL) on a waxed paper–lined plate, and freeze until solid, then transfer frozen portions to a container and store in the freezer to add to sauces. Tomato paste sold in convenient tubes is also ideal to have on hand. Just measure what you need and return the tube to the fridge for future use.
Pastry- or biscuit-topped casseroles, as in this recipe, do not brown or cook properly in the microwave oven and are best baked conventionally in your oven.
Cooking Methodbaking, microwaving
Total Timeunder 1 hour
Make Ahead RecipeYes
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationpeanut free, soy free, tree nut free
Taste and Texturecheesy, herby, meaty, savory, umami
Type of Dishcasserole
- 1 lb (500 g) lean ground beef or veal
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup (250 mL) sliced mushrooms
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- ½ tsp (2 mL) dried thyme leaves
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) all-purpose flour
- 1¼ cups (300 mL) beef stock, divided
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) tomato paste (see Notes)
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) Worcestershire sauce
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup (250 mL) frozen peas
- 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) biscuit mix
- 3/4 cup (175 mL) shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
- 6 tbsp (approx. 90 mL) milk
- 8-cup (2 L) casserole dish with lid
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
Crumble beef into casserole dish. Microwave, uncovered, on High for 5 to 7 minutes, until beef is no longer pink, stirring twice and using a fork to break up meat lumps. Drain off any excess fat in dish.
Add onion, mushrooms, garlic and thyme to beef in casserole dish. Microwave, covered, on High for 3 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are softened.
Place flour in a bowl and blend in 1/3 cup (75 mL) of the stock until smooth. Stir into beef along with remaining stock, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper to taste. Microwave, covered, on High for 4 to 6 minutes or until sauce boils and thickens. Stir in peas.
Crust: In a bowl, combine biscuit mix and half of the cheese. Using a fork, stir in enough milk to make a soft, sticky dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and shape into a ball. Pat dough into a circle or square large enough to fit casserole dish.
Place dough on top of warm meat mixture. Sprinkle top with remaining cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until top is golden.
2004 Johanna Burkhard