It's no surprise that food, meat especially, can be expensive. Especially when you're trying to buy locally sourced, ethically raised meat. I'm always looking for ways to save a few dollars and make our food budget stretch as far as it can in the kitchen. The Blend and Extend campaign really helped put this into motion. Using mushrooms to stretch a dish using ground beef, or vice versa, is a simple way to make that meal last a bit longer, and pack in a few extra nutrients while you're at it. It's also a great way to get kids onto mushrooms if they haven't quite found a taste for them yet.
This Beef and Mushroom Tortiere houses all the flavours of a French-Candian classic, but bumps up the nutrition and stretches your beef budget with the addition of some fried mushrooms. The texture isn't affected as you're giving the mushrooms ample time to cook and firm up, and the flavour is only amplified by the rich, earthy meatiness of them.
Whether you're making tacos, stir fry, meat sauce or shepherds pie, adding mushrooms to your beef mixture both saves money and tastes amazing. Bon appetit!
Beef and Mushroom Tortiere by The Gouda Life
makes 2 pies
4 tbsp olive oil, separated
1.5 lbs cremini mushrooms, diced
2 lbs lean ground beef
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp ground clove
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
salt and pepper, to taste
2 9" top/bottom pie shells (my favourite recipe here)
1/4 cup cream/milk/eggwash
Note: you can brown the beef and mushrooms in separate pans at the same time if you don't mind dirtying two pots. Otherwise, brown them back to back in the same pan.
Put a heavy skillet or dutch oven over med-high heat and heat 2 tbsp of oil. Add in the mushrooms and leave them, without stirring, for 10 minutes. They should go from dry, to watery, and back to dry. You'll need them to release all their moisture in order to crip up. Continue to cook, stirring if necessary, until mushrooms are golden brown and crisp (about 20 minutes total). Remove mushrooms from the pan to a towel-lined bowl. Add in the other 2 tbsp olive oil and add the ground beef. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and fragrant. Add in the mushrooms and diced onion. Cook for 5 minutes more so onions can soften. Add a few pinches or salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Let mixture cool completely.
Preheat oven to 375 and put the rack in the lowest position.
Roll your dough out and split the pie filling between the shells. Cut a vent hole in the middle of each pie. Brush with eggwash or light cream/milk and bake pies for 45-50 minutes or until tops are golden brown.
Slice and serve. If you want to save one, cover tight with plastic wrap and foil and freeze for up to 5 months.
This is a wonderful comfort dish that has been made slightly healthier by using the Blend & Extend concept. This is a great way to enjoy the comforts of fall without feeling guilty. Thanks Kelly for sharing such a tasty recipe!