Scalloped Potato and Hamburger Casserole

Layers of potatoes, ground beef, sauce, and cheese! WOW, sooo good!
OH MY GOSH!  This is so good!  Sooooo very easy! And it takes nothing special!  I call that a big win.  It comes from a cookbook, published from the church I grew up in, Christ Lutheran Church in Noblesville, Indiana in 1978 called "Cooking with Big Love." Mother gave all of us one of these for Christmas one year.  Linda my middle sister made this and told me about it.  When I looked it up and say the recipe came from the late Sally Schlensker I knew it would be good.  I did adapt it a bit but only to make it even better!  I made the "gravy" in the same pan the meat and veggies were browned in to capture those flavors and I added the cheese the last 20 minutes of the baking time, neither of which is in the recipe.  NOTE:  This would be delicious using sausage, ground ham as in ham loaf or any other ground meat, just adjust the seasonings.

My husband LOVED it and asked for it to be warmed over for the next evenings meal.  Now that is good.

Ingredients for Scalloped Potato and Hamburger Casserole:

1 pound ground chuck (beef)
1 large diced onion
1 C. diced celery
1 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. ground black pepper
4-5 large peeled and sliced potatoes

Ingredients for the Sauce or Gravy:

1/2 C. butter (a stick)
1/4 C. flour
2 C. whole milk
kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 C. grated cheese, optional  (cheddar, Colby, Jack, or whatever you prefer)

Butter a large baking dish and set aside, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  

Smells delicious.
Cook the beef, onions,  seasonings, and celery together until the meat has browned and is no longer pink.   Slice the potatoes into the prepared baking dish and season, then toss them together a bit. 

Makes a very full casserole and I only used 4 potatoes.
Layer the beef and vegetables on top of the potatoes.

Here's the "magic gravy."
Melt the butter into the skillet you browned the meat in and stir in the flour.   Cook a minute or so stirring to give the flour better flavor.  Add the milk all at once stirring continuously until thickened. Season to taste.  Pour and spread across the top of the meat mixture. 

We LOVE black pepper, if you don't leave it out or use less.
Sprinkle with black pepper.

I used  Colby Jack cheese because it was what I had on hand.
Bake in preheated oven for about and hour to an hour and 10 minutes.  Sprinkle with the cheese and bake another 20 minutes.  My casserole did not run over but I HIGHLY RECOMMEND placing the casserole dish on a baking tray (cookie sheet) just in case as this really filled my dish to the top!  I think I was just lucky.  (I even lined the baking sheet with parchment paper so there would be no clean up.)

As you can see it was a BIG HIT.
Serve and enjoy.  Yield 4-6 servings.

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