1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
3 tablespoons flour or cornstarch
1 envelop beefy mushroom dry soup mix
2-3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt or beef bouillon granules to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet (optional)
2 cans (15 oz ea) green beans
5-6 cups mashed potatoes*
2 cups grated cheese
Brown beef and chopped onion together until onion is transparent and beef is well browned (browning helps create the flavor and color of the dish). Add salt or beef bouillon granules to taste (about 1 teaspoon). Remove from heat and stir in flour or cornstarch and dry soup mix. Add 2 cups water. Return to heat, bring to a boil; boil 2-3 minutes. Add additional water, as needed to create desired consistency for a gravy. Stir in pepper, Worcestershire sauce and Kitchen bouquet to taste and to create desired color.
Place gravy mix in bottom of 9×13 casserole or baking pan (9×9 for small proportions). Drain green beans and scatter over top of gravy. Spoon mashed potatoes over top and gently spread to form a crust. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 F for 30-45 minutes or until hot, bubbly and cheese is melted.
Recipe serves 6-8, but is easily divided for smaller households.
* NOTE: I personally prefer fresh mashed potatoes for this recipe, but instant mashed works just fine. If making fresh, use approximately 6-8 medium to small potatoes or about 6 cups diced potatoes. Boil until tender. Drain excess liquid, add a little milk and mash potatoes using a fork, beaters, potato masher, etc (adding milk improves flavor, and consistency – always start with a little milk and continue to add and beat to create desired consistency). Add salt, pepper and butter to taste.