Another golden comfort food recipe from my childhood. This dish, volcano, gets its name from the distinct look of the meat and gravy dripping down the side of a mountain of mashed potatoes. The dish can also be served over pasta. It is easy and flavorful…perfect for a cold winter night.

This recipe makes enough for 6-8 (depending on how much your family and friends eat – remember it will be served over a starch too), but it freezes very well. I like to make a ton of it for Brian and I and freeze it for a night I don’t feel like cooking. The mushrooms are optional. My dad makes it without mushrooms, but I like the extra fiber the vegetable adds. Plus I LOVE mushroom flavor with beef…and its an inexpensive way to bulk up the dish and make it go even further.



Olive oil

1 lg onion, diced

Salt and Pepper

1 TB garlic powder

1 lb ground beef

1 quart of baby portobello mushrooms, sliced (optional)

3 TB flour

1 quart chicken stock

1 10 oz bag of frozen peas (or 2 cans of canned peas)


Use a very large and deep-sided sauté pan. If you don’t have one, use a pot with a large surface area on the bottom (like a dutch oven, rather than a stock pot). Add olive oil, just to cover the bottom of the pan. Add onion, salt and pepper to taste, and garlic powder. Cook on medium heat until soft and translucent. Add mushrooms and cook until soft.

Add ground beef to pan. Break up and continue to cook until brown and cooked through. Sprinkle flour over the beef mixture. Stir until mixed through. The mixture should be a little pasty. Add the stock, raise the temp, and bring to a boil, stirring. Cook until the gravy is nice and thick. Add salt and pepper to taste (and more garlic powder if you like) and dump the peas in. Cook until they thaw (a minute or two).

Serve over a pile of homemade mashed potatoes or egg noodles (or riced cauliflower if you are low-carb).


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