Growing up, I loved it when I was informed that we were having Poor Man’s Casserole for dinner. It was such a basic meal, but it was rather stodgy and really yummy. It was never top of the list of favourite foods, but it was never on my “don’t like” list either.
So, when I looked in the cupboards and realised that I had everything I needed to make the dish for tonight’s dinner, I was excited at the prospect of enjoying a meal from childhood. But I’ve renamed it to fit my circumstances better. Instead of Poor Man’s Casserole, I’m calling it Starving Student’s Stodge. Because, well, I’m a starving student on a budget. And I like stodge.
For your own budgeting purposes, the meal can be made for less than £5 (if you buy the cheap beef and generic/store brand beans) and will serve 4-6 people. So, around £1 per serving. Of course, I splurged on better quality beef with a lower fat content, so mine was a bit more than that. (Yes, no matter how tight my budget, I always opt for the better cuts of meat!)
Wanna make it at home? Here’s how!
Starving Student’s Stodge
- 2-3 raw potatoes
- 1 small sliced onion
- 1 pound ground beef (UK: Minced beef)
- 2 tins pork-n-beans (UK: Baked beans)
- Salt and pepper as desired
Layer sliced, raw potatoes on the bottom of a casserole dish; place sliced onion on top. Press ground beef (uncooked) over potatoes and onion. Salt and pepper as desired (I omit these). Pour beans over beef. Cover and bake in 350°f (175°c) oven for 1.5 hours.
My parents also added a tin of condensed tomato soup on top, but I omit that part. Also, I’ve considered layering some fresh tomatoes, peppers, or mushrooms in with the onion, but I’m not that posh!
The recipe, from Katherine Liboky, is part of a collection from the Our Lady’s Altar Society’s cookbook for the Immaculate Conception Church (Catholic) in Roslyn, Washington. It was a gift to my mother by her mother in the year of my birth, 1974.