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Patti Howerton: Money saving main dish recipes

As we all struggle to continue to get through this trying time, we are always looking for ways to save on our food budget. This week, I have some excellent recipes for just that. Also, answering a request from the hunting community with a wild game recipe.

SKILLET MEATLOAF
• 1-1/2 lbs. ground beef
• 1 cup whole milk
• 1/2 cup chopped onion
• 1/2 cup chopped celery
• 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
• 1 large egg
• 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
• 8 slices processed cheese
• Salt and pepper to taste

Mix together all ingredients, except cheese. Spoon 1/2 of mixture into an 8-inch skillet, layer on 5 slices of cheese, cover with remaining meat mixture.
Bake for 45-55 minutes at 350 degrees. Last 5 minutes of baking time, top with remaining cheese, finish baking. Makes 6 to 10 servings.

BEEF AND MUSHROOM CASSEROLE
• 2 lbs. round steak — cut into 1/2 inch cubes
• 2 Tbsp. olive oil
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
• 1 cup sour cream
• 1 (8-ounce) can mushrooms
• 1/2 cup celery, chopped
• 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
• 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
• Salt and pepper to taste

Brown steak in skillet in hot oil. Remove meat. Add onion and garlic and cook until golden. Turn heat to low and blend in flour. Add cream and cook but do not boil. Stir constantly until thickened.
Add meat and remaining ingredients. Stir until blended. Turn mixture into a greased 3-quart casserole. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for approximately 1-1/2 hour, until meat is tender. Serve over rice or noodles. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

PORK CHOP AND HASH BROWN CASSEROLE
• 1 (10-oz.) can mushroom soup
• 1 (24-oz.) pkg, frozen hash browns, thawed
• 1/2 cup whole milk
• 1 (3-oz,) can French fried onions
• 1/2 cup sour cream
• 6 (3-oz.) pork chops
• 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
• 1 Tbsp. olive oil
• Salt and pepper to taste

Combine first 4 ingredients in bowl; mix well. Add half the cheese, potatoes and half the fried onions; mix well. Spoon into 9×13-inch baking dish. Brown the pork chops in oil in skillet. Arrange over potato mixture. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
Top with remaining cheese and French fried onions. Bake, uncovered, for 5 minutes longer. Makes 6 servings.

STUFFED GREEN PEPPERS
• 6 large green peppers
• 1-1/2 lbs. ground beef
• 1-1/2 cups cooked rice
• 1 medium onion, chopped fine
• 1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped fine
• 1 clove garlic, chopped fine
• 1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Parmesan cheese

Wash peppers, remove tops and seeds. Place upright in 2-quart microwave dish. Pour water over bottom of dish and cook, covered, on high for 2 minutes. Drain. Sauté meat, onions and garlic. Mix in rice, parsley and tomato sauce. Stuff peppers with meat and cook on high for 10-12 minutes or until peppers are tender. Makes 6 servings.

ROASTED DEER LEG
• Hind quarter (leg) of deer
• 1/2 cup any brand steak marinade
• 8 potatoes, quartered
• 1 (12-oz.) can any brand beer
• 8 carrots, quartered
• 1 pkg. beef stew seasoning mix
• 2 large onions, quartered
• 1 bag large egg noodles
• Optional: Peppers, sliced
• Salt and pepper (sparingly)
• Water

In a large roasting pan, place deer leg and vegetables. Add water to cover the vegetables. Pour the marinade and beer over the meat. Cover and cook in oven on medium-low heat (350) until done, 3-5 hours. Add water as needed to keep vegetables covered. During last 30 minutes of cooking, stir in beef stew seasoning mix and dissolve any lumps. Add noodles (or rice) if desired. When noodles are tender, your meal is ready.
NOTE: The beer will remove any wild game taste, but, if you object to beer, try soaking meat 2-4 hours in salt water before cooking, but rinse well after soaking. This will remove the wild taste of any game animal.

Patti Howerton is a retired accountant and caterer and can be reached at phowerton@ gmail.com