Friday, November 18, 2011

Ponyshoe Casserole

Ponyshoe Casserole is an extremely tasty comfort food casserole. Yes, it's a heart attack on a plate. But, it's so SO good, and everything is good in moderation!

If you don't have ties to central Illinois, you've probably never heard of a Horseshoe or a Ponyshoe. The Horseshoe is an open-faced sandwich that originated in Springfield, Illinois in the 1920s. The Ponyshoe is a smaller version of the Horseshoe. There are many varieties today, but the general premise is a slice of thick toast topped with meat (traditionally a hamburger patty), fries, and cheese.

This Ponyshoe Casserole is inspired by the famouse Horseshoe open-faced sandwich. This casserole recipe comes from my mom, and per her recommendation, I served it with a huge green salad. I recommend focusing on the flavorful taste of this casserole, as opposed to the (lack of) nutrition content. Since I only make this recipe once a year and always serve it with a big green salad, I am convinced it all balances out in the end!

Ponyshoe Casserole
·1 lb. ground beef
·1 packet onion soup mix
·2 TBS water
·12 oz. frozen French fries
·1 small onion, minced
·3 TBS butter
·¼ cup GF flour blend
·1½ cups milk
·½ cup evaporated milk
·2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
·3 tsp Worcestershire sauce
·1/8 tsp dry mustard
·1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
·Salt and pepper
·½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Brown beef and drain grease. Add one package of onion soup mix and 2 TBS water. Stir over medium heat until heated through.

Melt butter in a saucepan and sauté onion. Combine flour and milks, and then strain into the butter. Heat over medium heat until slightly thick. Stir in 2 cups of cheese and spices. Heat over low for a minute until sauce is combined.

In a 9x13 casserole dish, layer meat, part of the sauce, French fries, and the remaining sauce. Cover with remaining ½ cup of shredded cheese. Bake at 350˚ for 40-50 minutes.