"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > General Cooking
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 10-24-2010, 03:54 PM   #1
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 5
Casserole

I'm a bit of a beginner to cooking and I like doing casseroles as they're easy and quick to prepare but I'm looking for tips to improve. I usually use steak or pork and chicken or beef gravy and throw in whatever veg is available, usually mushrooms, onions, carrotts, garlic etc. but sometimes the gravy overpowers the rest of the flavours and sometimes the veg at the top gets overdone. When is the best time to season and to throw the veg in and what's the best way to get the meat nice and tender, I don't usually bother browning it. Also, I usually cook it for about 90-120 mins on about 150-180, any guidelines on that? Thanks

__________________

__________________
Enrique3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2010, 04:01 PM   #2
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 41,395
Casseroles are usually made with cooked meats. If you use raw meat, the veggies and starch will be overcooked by the time the meat is done. In addition, by skipping the browning step, you give up a lot of flavor.

To keep the veggie from drying out and to speed up cooking, cook the casserole covered either with a lid or foil. If browning on the top is part of the deal, take the cover off for the last 10-15 minutes or so.
__________________

__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2010, 04:29 PM   #3
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Zhizara's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 12,537
I make a lot of casseroles and one dish meals. I can't think of a casserole that I make using raw ingredients. For instance:

I'll boil one or two chicken thighs in onion soup (mix). Take out the chicken and cool. Bring the soup mix back to a boil, adding water and salt if necessary and use that to boil egg noodles along with a half cup of mixed vegetables.

When the chicken has cooled enough, strip from the bones and cut into bite size pieces.

When the noodles and vegetables are done, strain over a bowl so as to save the liquid for an excellent stock. I usually freeze this for gravy liquid or the base for cooking dried beans. Lots of flavor.

Add the chicken, noodles and vegetables to a casserole dish and add a can of cream of whatever soup. If you add cheese, you can mix it in and you won't need a topping, or top with breadcrumbs, whatever.

Bake the casserole at 350 for 30 minutes or so until it is bubbly and the top has some crustiness.

The list of ingredients you mentioned would work wonderfully layered in a crock pot. No matter what you put in or how long it takes to cook, all will be done in the end without a lot of effort as to times and temperature. Just load it up, go to work and dinner's all ready when you get home. If you just cook it all in just a little water and seasonings, you can start your gravy from those juices, instead of adding the gravy first.
__________________

If you can't see the bright side of life, polish the dull side.
Zhizara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2010, 04:40 PM   #4
Master Chef
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Galena, IL
Posts: 7,973
I, too, cannot think of but one casserole I make with raw meat. That's one that is a Campbell's soup recipe that you put the boneless, skinless chicken breast portions in before baking (their website has several versions of this). But almost any other thing I make uses leftover meat, or you brown it first (more flavor, better color). Smoked meats, especially ham, really work well in casseroles if you don't have the time to mess with browning. Also (for us Catholics who remember Friday meals in the sixties), tuna! Topping with bread crumbs, crumbled potato chips, canned fried onions, etc, then upping the temp to high (or broil) for a minute or two at the end adds to the texture and color.

Oh, I can't resist asking, for those from the upper Midwest (and I know there are several of you out there), chime in with your favorite Hot Dish!
__________________
Claire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2010, 04:44 PM   #5
Head Chef
 
JMediger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,178
My favorite (and go to) uses italian sausage (browned), spaghetti sauce, rigatoni (or penne) pasta and mozzarella cheese. Mix together, add some cheese to the top and bake for 40'ish minutes.
Zhizara, I love the idea of boiling the chicken in onion soup mix!
Claire, what is your go-to casserole?
__________________
JMediger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2010, 04:46 PM   #6
Chef Extraordinaire
 
babetoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: escondido, calif. near san diego
Posts: 14,349
no raw meat in mine either. tuna casserole is my favorite
__________________
"life isn't about how to survive the storm but how to dance in the rain"
babetoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2010, 04:49 PM   #7
Ogress Supreme
 
PrincessFiona60's Avatar
Site Administrator
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 36,306
Tuna-Noodle Casserole made with cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup with french-fried onions on top.
__________________
PrincessFiona60 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2010, 04:52 PM   #8
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 285
When I make a casserole I always brown any meat thoroughly before consigning it to the pot. I adjust the seasoning then, just a little salt and pepper, but fully adjust it later as the meat and veg continue cooking through. I rarely sprinkle salt on raw meat as salt leeches out the juices.

My late Mother said never to put raw meat in casseroles for obvious health reasons. Browning meat always imprioves the flavour along with any meat stock. I don't have the time I'd like to make stock, chicken, beef or lamb so I'll buy a few packets of Knorr ready made, or use some Marigold boullion powder diluted in water to add. Also a splosh of wine. And don't be afraid to add a sachet of Schwartz casserole mix to flavour it up, if you want.

Casseroles are heartwarming, deeply comforting and are best eaten the day after. The flavour will have greatly improved. Lovely!

One device I've been using for ages now is my Prestige A La Carte electric non-stick multi-cooker. Teflon-coated, it's super easy to use, the 'cooker easy to clean, and very economical to run. And good value, too.
__________________
Poppi G. Koullias is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2010, 05:05 PM   #9
Master Chef
 
Constance's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Southern Illiniois
Posts: 8,175
I guess you'd call them one dish meals rather than casseroles, but I frequently put uncooked meat...chicken pieces, portions sized pieces of round steak or pork chops...in a casserole dish with vegetables and various types of seasoning and liquids. Try using one or more of the following: packet of dry Italian dressing mix, ranch dressing mix, taco seasoning, onion soup mix, a good Cajun seasoning like Emeril's or Tony Chacherie's, or your own herbs and spices...a can of reduced fat cream of mushroom or chicken soup, chicken or beef broth, tomato sauce.
Don't add extra salt when using prepared soups or seasonings, as they usually already have salt.
__________________

__________________
We get by with a little help from our friends
Constance is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:49 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.