TCP Kitchen
Cozy Casseroles
This month’s 75th anniversary look back features Lone Star Casserole from April 1965

Lone Star Casserole
IMAGE: Magrig | Shutterstock.com

Casseroles have timeless appeal for good reason. Most can be prepared with inexpensive ingredients, are easy to assemble and serve a crowd. Case in point: Lone Star Casserole, a hearty mix of beef and vegetables braised in creamy tomato sauce that appeared in the April 1965 Texas Co-op Power. The dish relies on round steak. To update the dish, I browned the meat in olive oil instead of shortening and replaced canned mushrooms with cremini. I couldn’t resist adding a bit of smoky bacon and fresh herbs to make the results richer and more fragrant. As the original recipe suggests, serve the dish with noodles or rice.

Web Extra: Retro Recipe

Food Editor Paula Disbrowe tweaked and updated the Lone Star Casserole recipe from our April 1965 issue. Here’s a PDF of the original recipe and the page on which it appeared.

 

Lone Star Casserole


2 pounds round steak, cubed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 strips thick-cut bacon, diced
2 carrots, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
10–12 cremini mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh (or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried) rosemary or thyme
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup sour cream
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Season the steak with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the steak and bacon and cook, stirring, until browned, about 7–9 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate and set aside.

3. Add the carrots, onion, celery, mushrooms, garlic and fresh herbs to the skillet and cook, stirring, until softened and golden. Return the meat to the skillet (and any juices), sprinkle with flour and stir until the ingredients are coated. Add the remaining ingredients, stir to combine and then pour into a buttered 9-by-13-inch casserole. Bake about 1 1/2 hours, until the meat is tender. Serve warm, with noodles, rice or crusty bread.

Serves 8.

Want the Consummate Casserole?

Choose the right dish: Shallow baking dishes are best for creating a crunchy topping, where-as deeper roasting pans are good for preserving moisture.

 

Undercook your pasta: For the best texture, boil noodles 2–3 minutes fewer than the package indicates to allow the pasta to finish cooking in the oven.

 

Choose the right cheese: Aged cheeses like Parmesan, Asiago and feta offer sharp and tangy flavors, but they won’t create a creamy texture. For an ooey-gooey consistency, go with meltable cheeses like cheddar, asadero and Gruyère.

 

Brighten rich flavors: Finely grated lemon zest, a tablespoon of Dijon mustard or a few dashes of your favorite vinegar-based hot sauce will make flavors pop. —PD

TAGS: Contests, Food, Recipes, TCP 75th Anniversary, TCP Kitchen

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