1 lb. Ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1 1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (more if you like) or 1 can of Vegall mixed vegetables
2 pkgs. Brown gravy mix or leftover gravy
2 cups water
4-6 potatoes, peeled, cooked and mashed, dry
2 tbsp. tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp. thyme (if desired).
Brown meat and add onion and continue cooking until the onion is translucent.
Sprinkle the gravy mix over the meat and stir in, then add the veggies, after which, stir in the 2 cups of water, slowly, the gravy mix will thicken this. I use some of the water I was cooking the potatoes in. Let it heat through.
Or if using leftover gravy, pour it over the meat and onions, then add the veggies and let it heat through, but don't forget to stir in the tomato paste, it adds a richness to the gravy but you don't taste the tomato.
Pour into a greased oven proof dish, and top with the 'dry' mashed potatoes. When mashing the potatoes, you don't want to add a lot of milk or butter, they should be on the dry side, otherwise they just kinda melt into the gravy, and it's kinda messy.
My trick for getting a nice even coating of mashed potatoes on top of the filling is to dump them onto one of my 'handy dandy' plastic cutting sheets and then just turning it onto the top of the gravy.
Or you can also make a spatula sized patties of the potatoes and place them on top or you can make the potatoes earlier, let them cool a little and then pipe them onto the meat mixture.
Lots of ways, and I'm just a little fussy cause I hate it when the potatoes kinda fall into the gravy and disappear.
After you get the mashed potatoes situated on top, then dot them with a tablespoon or more of butter and place the casserole dish into a 350 deg. oven for about 45 minutes.
I like some crusty browned bits on the potatoes and love to see the gravy just bubbling up around it.
Take it out of the oven and let it rest for about 10-15 minutes before serving. Then just stand back and accept the compliments. This will serve about 4 people. And you can always add more meat, veggies, gravy and potatoes. Just like most of my recipes, they can be stretched.