Gravy & Mashed Potatoes

Well tonight was a quick meal ... We had to go running around and I didn't get back until 5pm so I had to rush to get a meal on!

I used short cut potatoes, but you can use real potatoes and mash/rice them if you'd prefer .... They do taste better (I like to leave some chunks in there for texture when I make them from scratch)

Gravy & Mashed Potatoes
For the gravy:
1 pound ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
One can of green/sweet peas
Beef stock
Corn starch

Mashed potato flakes

1)Start by browning the ground beef, making sure the meat is in piece to give something to chew
2)Add in the onion near the end of browning, cook them until softened but not browned
3)add in the veggies, salt, and spices 
4)add 2 1/2 - 3 cups of broth ... If you are using beef base, place into ground beef before veggies so it can melt a bit then add veggies and water they are packed in along with the extra water
5)let simmer for 20 minutes 
6)in 1 cup COLD water, mix in a tablespoon or so of corn starch.  Make sure there are no clumps or lumps - then while CONSTANTLY stirring, add this slurry to the beef broth, so it does not clump up.
7)cook for 5-10 minutes to thicken ... Make your mashed potatoes according to directions on your box or bag.

Sorry, no photos ... It doesn't look very appetizing with ground beef but it tastes very good.

You will notice that I did not mention draining off the fat -- we buy the leanest meat we can get, this time it was very very lean, I did not have to drain and had even considered adding oil to my pan but changed my mind.  If you are buying a fattier grind or are on a low fat diet, you can drain the fat off or even wash the meat off to rid more of the fat away (I had to do this for my mother after her stroke, she hated it at first but soon got used to it)

Now about POTATOES

If you wish to make this with your own mashed potatoes I suggest using waxy/red potatoes instead of russet/baking potatoes - I find russets tend to get "mealy" when they are boiled.  

I prefer chunks in my home made mashed potatoes so I mash lightly - my mother preferred very creamy potatoes and used a ricer (I wish I had gotten it way back when).  Rivers are fairly cheap, you put your boiled potatoes in side and then close the ricer & squeeze ... Kind of like a garlic press only much larger.  You can also use them to make baby food, applesauce, mashed turnips/parsnips, and pumpkin purée for pie or soup.  Thus the reason I'd like to have gotten it

Do NOTwhip your potatoes, it will make them starchy like wallpaper paste! 

I also put my butter into the hot potatoes before the milk so it will melt -- adding the butter into the potatoes before serving will help you use less butter per person but help give lots of flavor ... I use like 1 teaspoon per person .... As opposed to a big slab per person when on the plate.

For simple family meals I use skim milk in my potatoes, just enough to make them creamy-ish but not so much that they won't hold a plop shape when served .... For company I use a can of condensed milk but no butter - it won't be needed since all the milk fat is still in there.

You know what? 

I think I will do a special post on making mashed potatoes later on ...

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