Introduction: Connecticut Supper
Growing up as a kid my Mom would occasionally make this dish. It was one of my favorite foods growing up. I think partially because we only had it once in a while so every time we had it, it was a treat. But mostly because this was such a yummy dinner.
As time moved on I grew up and moved out to make my way in the world. Memories of this delicious dish were filed away in deep storage left undisturbed for decades.
Then as luck would have it Mom made a visit, and while we were reminiscing, Mom asked if i liked the Connecticut Supper she used to make. At first I did not realize what she meant by that because I grew up in Connecticut .. all my suppers were Connecticut suppers.
As she started to describe the dish, a dim light bulb slowly glowed to life way back in my brain. Brighter and brighter it burned until at last ... EUREKA ... "That was called Connecticut Supper? I haven't had that in ages .. do you remember the recipe?"
One quick trip to the grocery store later we embarked on recreating on of my favorite childhood dishes.
Step 1: Ingredients
Measurements are not exact, think of them more like guideline instead of rules. Adjust according to taste.
I-2 medium onions
2-3 lbs of Chuck roast
2 large Russet Potatoes (or enough sliced potatoes to cover the casserole dish in a single layer)
1 can 10.5 oz of cream of mushroom soup
1 cup of sour cream
1 cup of milk
1-2 cups of cheddar cheese
1-2 cups of crushed corn flakes
2-3 tablespoons of Duxelles
Step 2: Prep
peel and slice potatoes (mandolin slicers are a GREAT tool for uniform slices)
peel and slice the onion
trim all of the tendons and most of the fat off of the meat.
The fat will render away from the meat while cooking so it isn't crucial to remove it all, but you want to make sure you get all of the spots where the tendon connects to the muscle tissue trimmed from the meat. That will cook down to the really chewy, gristly bits that no one wants to eat.
It is very easy to tell the difference between fat and tendon. Fat is soft (and a bit crumbly if you get a big chunk of fat) and pulls away from the meat fairly easily. The tendon is shiny and it can be a bit translucent towards the edges. It will not pull off of the meat, it has to be cut away.
Step 3: Sauté the Onions
melt about a tablespoon of butter in a pan
add the onions (and if you want you can add the bigger pieces of fat to the pan for extra flavor) and Sauté the onions until then caramelize.
remove the fat if you added it to the pan.
Set the onion to the side.
Step 4: Cooking the Meat
Add a tablespoon of butter to the pan.
Add the meat to the pan. (duxelles optional)
Cook the meat until it is starting to brown.
Add the onions back into the pan.
Add a cup of water.
Bring mix to a boil, Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes.
While the meat an onion cook, the water will turn into a nice gravy.
Step 5: Assemble the Sauce
The can of Cream of Mushroom soup
The cup of sour cream
The cup of milk
Step 6: Putting It Together
Pour the meat, onions, and gravy into the casserole dish.
Place a layer of potato slices over the top of the meat.
Pour the sauce over the potatoes.
Sprinkle the cheese over the sauce. add a little or add a lot, depending on how much cheese you like.
Sprinkle the crushed corn flakes over the cheese until all the cheese is covered.
Step 7: Bake and Enjoy
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius, or gas mark 4)
Bake for 1.5 hours (until the potatoes are tender)
If beef stroganoff and a shepherd's pie had a wild night together, this dish would be their love child. It is delicious alone or you can serve it over egg noodle or rice.