Hamburger Potato Cheese Casserole


°5 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-1/2 inch thick slices
°2-3 tablespoons minced onion
°1 pound ground beef (reduced fat is preferred)
°Salt and Pepper
°Cheese sauce (the same sauce I use with macaroni and cheese)
°2 cups milk (I use skim)
°3 tablespoons butter
°3 tablespoons flour
°1/2 teaspoon salt
°1/2 teaspoon pepper
°8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
Ketchup (optional condiment)

* directione:

1. I am using a covered 2 1/2 quart casserole dish for this. This will stay in place unless you have a great non-stick baking dish.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
3- Brown hamburger and onions.
4. Place a layer of potato slices in a casserole dish, on top of it, half of the hamburger/onion mixture. Salt and pepper to taste (depends somewhat on how salty the cheese sauce is - you can always salt it later if you need it).
5. Repeat layers of potato slices and hamburger mixture (and salt and pepper to taste).
6- Make the cheese sauce:
7- Melt 3 TB of butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
8- Add 3 tablespoons of flour, salt and pepper. Stir quickly until blended.
9- Add two cups of milk. Stir with paddle attachment to incorporate the butter/flour mixture.
10- Reduce the heat and stir until it thickens and forms bubbles.
11- Remove from heat and add grated cheddar cheese. Stir until cheese melts.
12- Pour the cheese sauce over the hamburger and potatoes in the baking dish. Push the potatoes to let the cheese sauce into all of the slits so they are well covered.
13. Cover it up and put it in the oven. Bake for an hour and a half, until the potatoes are tender and turn brown. I like to take the lid off for 20 minutes or so to brown the top a bit.
14- Even with the thinnest ground beef, this can result in a little bit of fat accumulating on top - I just scooped this stuff up. This does not mean that everything is greasy - just cheesy.
15- My family considers generous amounts of ketchup to be a necessary addition to this dish. I like it quite well by itself (okay, maybe a ketchup spot on the side).

Enjoy !