Ugly Casserole is as simple as it gets. You can’t get much more simple than 3 ingredients: ground meat of any kind, a couple of potatoes, and a can of beans.
The ground meat can be anything – what you see here is a combination of ground chicken and ground Ummm. Something – I just can’t remember. Might be turkey.
Preheat your oven to around 350 degrees F.
Meanwhile… mix your ground meat up with whatever spices and/or fillers you generally add. I add onion and garlic powders, pepper and a little hot sauce.
Mix all this around until you think it’s as evenly mixed as it’ll get. Or until you get sick of mixing it. Stick it in the fridge to ponder its last few minutes of rawdom.
Scrub a few potatoes really well and slice them up evenly, unpeeled. I like this handy-dandy little whatchamacallit for its speed and the evenly sliced results.
It can be a dangerous beast though if you don’t use a guard. I seem to have misplaced the guard to my slicer, so I have to watch for knuckle shavings in the potatoes.
Layer the potato slices in the bottom of a glass casserole dish. I use glass to thwart “stickage” later.
Make 2 or 3 layers, dabbing bits of butter or margarine between layers, along with a little salt and pepper. If you have an onion, chop it up and layer that in there, too.
Now, take your ball of shmushed-up meat mixture and plonk it right on top of the potato layers.
I KNOW!! It’s gross! Plonk it on there, anyway. Now smush it down good and flat and even.
Then, take a fork and poke a bunch of holes into the surface.
Now when you dump your can of beans over the ground meat, the juice will seep down into the forkholes. I don’t know if “forkholes” is a real word, or not, but I like it, anyway.
Now, see, this doesn’t look ugly, yet. Wait for it.
Put a lid on the casserole dish and stick your victim in the preheated oven.
Keep your fingers crossed for about 45 minutes that someone in the house will yell, “What the hell is that smell?” before the whole thing boils over and sizzles itself all over your oven floor.
Smart money would have you set a timer and check the thing before it explodes sideways. Me now, I’ve never been too smart with money, so I generally have a mess when I make this.
About half-way through your cooking time – I don’t know… 25 minutes maybe? – you need to check for “done-ness” by poking a longer fork down to the bottom of the dish, and through the potatoes. If the potatoes fight back, you still have a ways to go…
At this point, though, you should swivel your casserole lid so some air escapes. This would be to help prevent that oven blow-out that I get. Every time.
You’ll know it’s done when you can scoop it out of its cooking dish and it doesn’t resemble bloody brains. Brains are fine, but bloody brains require further cooking time.
It’s done! Enjoy – assuming, that is, that you get the nerve up to put any in your mouth…
Yes, it’s ugly. But it really is good.