One of our staples, when we first moved to Easton (almost 10 years ago), was a dish called Victory Casserole. It came from a cookbook, The Big Book of Casseroles by Maryana Vollstedt. My kids have always liked this recipe. It's a bit like shepard's pie, that mixture of meat, potatoes and vegetables and there is a sauce that holds it all together.
My son, Brian, was home on semester break and one of his requests was for Victory Casserole, for two reasons. First, it's one of his favorite comfort food dishes and second being away at school and living off campus means he makes dinner on a regular basis. He was looking for the recipe on our site and I kept telling him to just type in "Victory Casserole" in the search bar. Come to find out, for all the years we have been making this dish, it didn't make it onto the Friends Food Family site.
As I was photographing the dish, Jeff said, "What a great dish for a football party, it's better than making a big dish of lasagna." I was thinking, he was right. Many of the football gatherings we have attended always contain a large pan of lasagna as a meal choice. What a great one meal dish that can mix up the traditional food offerings.
What's great about this Victory Casserole is the flavors of beef, rice, spinach and cheese tied together with a tomato sauce. The dish is flavorful without many spices. This gives you the opportunity to spice it up if you are adventurous. Think Mexican - maybe some oregano, cumin, chili powder and a salsa for the tomato sauce. Just a thought.
As you get ready to enjoy two more big football weekends, what a great dish to bring or serve at a party. I would suggest doubling it for a larger group, you can probably get 12+ servings out of this delicious Victory Casserole.
Ingredients for Victory Casserole
1 pound of ground beef (85%)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped - about 1 cup
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 package (10 oz.) frozen spinach, thawed and squeeze out water
3 cups of cooked long-grain white rice
2 cups of grated cheddar cheese
3 large eggs
3/4 cup of milk
1 teaspoon of salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
2 cups of Quick Tomato Sauce (recipe follows)
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In a medium skillet over medium heat, saute beef, onion, and garlic until meat is no longer pink and vegetables are tender, about 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Transfer to a 4-quart casserole dish lightly coated with cooking spray or oil. Add the spinach, rice, and 1 cup of the cheese. Mix slightly.
4. In a small bowl, combine eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Stir into meat and rice mixture and mix well.
5. Bake, covered, 30 minutes. Top with 1 cup of Quick Tomato Sauce and remaining cheese and bake, uncovered, until bubbly, about 15 minutes longer.
6. Serve victory casserole and top with additional tomato sauce.
Feeds 4-6 people.
Ingredients for Quick Tomato Sauce
2 (15 ounce) cans of tomato sauce
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of dried basil
1/2 teaspoon of dried marjoram, crumbled
4 cloves of garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients and simmer,
uncovered, 5 to 10 minutes.
Makes about 2 cups.
Written by Tricia White