Even though I love food dearly, I (as with most people who cook every day) still have those moments of dread as I begin to think about dinner. Those moments where, frankly, I don't want to spend anymore time in the kitchen – or scrubbing dishes. Those moments where I wish desperately to believe in a magic food fairy that will come and prepare a healthy, delicious, warm meal for our family.
Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?
Unfortunately, as much as I wish of this magic food fairy, she has yet to show her face in my kitchen. What the heck, man?
So, here we are, and cook I must. This recipe I'm posting today is one of those hearty, satisfying, and easily prepared meals, comprised of “staples” that we keep in our kitchen at all times. Little forethought goes into the preparation, and thus, it is a wonderful “I-want-to-eat-a-good-dinner-but-don't-want-to-cook” meal. For those of you like me who are having one of those moments. Don't be discouraged by the list of ingredients, it's easy. I promise.
You will need:
– 1 pound of grass-fed ground beef (or lamb)
– 1 onion, diced
– 3 carrots, peeled and diced
– 2 sticks of celery, diced
– 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme
– 2 teaspoons soy sauce
– 1 cup of cooked lentils (optional) – I use these to help stretch the meat further and add some delicious fiber!
– Sea salt and pepper, to taste
– 1/2 cup beef broth (or chicken broth)
– 3-5 tablespoons olive oil
– 7-9 peeled organic potatoes, diced into large pieces
– 3 tablespoons high-quality butter
– 1/4 cup organic cream
Step One: Heat up a large pot of water and add the diced potatoes. Boil until tender.
Step Two: While the potatoes are boiling, brown the ground beef in a skillet. Drain the excess fat off.
Step Three: After the meat is browned, transfer it to a bowl. Then, put the skillet back on the stove and add in the olive oil. After the oil has heated up, add in the diced onion, celery, and carrots. Saute the vegetables gently until they are softened, adding more oil if necessary.
Step Four: Once the vegetables are sauteed, add in the thyme, soy sauce, salt, pepper, beef broth, ground beef, and lentils. Stir, and allow this to cook for five minutes or so.
Step Five: Let's turn our attention back to those potatoes now, shall we? After they have finished boiling, strain off the excess water. Using a fork or potato masher, mash in the butter and cream (with another healthy pinch of salt!).
I like to keep my potatoes kind of chunky, but that's just my preference. Mash those spuds however you like!
Step Six: Transfer the meat mixture to an oven-safe pan of your choice (if you're using a cast iron skillet, no need to transfer the meat mixture to another pan). Then, use a fork to top the meat mixture with the mashed potatoes. Oh, baby, this is lookin' good. I did a teeny pinch more salt and freshly ground black pepper to top off the spuds.
Step Seven: You can either stick this in the fridge to bake later, or stick it right into a preheated 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes until nice and bubbly and browned.
Yum, yum, yum. And please disregard the coloring in this photo. The natural light at this point in the day was zero.
Hearty. Inexpensive. Delicious.
And the best part? It makes enough for plenty of leftovers. Which means we are set for lunch the next day! Booya.
Next time I make this, I think I'll make extra meat mixture. That way, when I'm having one of these moments again, I can easily pull it from the freezer and whip up some potatoes. Unfortunately, I think that's as close to a magic food fairy as I'm gunna get.
Except for my Mom and Dad. They're pretty dang close.
For other great meal ideas, no matter what your dietary restrictions, check out the meal planning service I use: Real Plans.