Madalena is a traditional Brazilian recipe and usually served with rice and beans. Comforting and creamy, this casserole can be made in advance and baked the next day. It reheats well and it tastes even better the next day, which makes for a very practical weeknight meal year-round. Enjoy!
Background: Similar to the Shepherd’s Pie, Madalena is a traditional Brazilian recipe and it is usually served with rice and beans on the side. Sorry Irish people, but our pie is better. Much better!
- potatoes (Red Gold, Yukon Gold, or Russet), washed and peeled (2 pounds )
- butter, room temperature (6 tablespoons )
- milk (¾ cup )
- good quality garlic powder (½ teaspoons )
- good quality onion powder (½ teaspoons )
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- olive oil (2 tablespoons )
- onion, finely chopped (1 medium )
- garlic cloves, minced (3 )
- lean ground chuck (2 pounds )
- beef bouillon (1 tablespoon )
- tomatoes, chopped (or canned) (2 cups )
- scallions, finely chopped (2 tablespoons )
- basil, finely chopped (2 tablespoons )
- flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (1 tablespoon)
- Parmesan cheese (¼ cup )
Place potatoes in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and cook partially covered until soft, 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.
While potatoes are still hot, transfer to a food processor; add butter, milk, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Process until smooth, about 1 minute. Set aside.
**If food processor is unavailable, you can use a blender to make the mashed potatoes. If none of those appliances are available, a potato masher or fork will do the job; just make sure potatoes and milk are hot and butter is at room temperature to ease the process.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft; 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 40 seconds.
Add ground chuck and beef bouillon. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is browned; 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium, add tomatoes and cover the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened and tomatoes are soft; 15 minutes. Remove from heat and fold in scallions, basil and flat-leaf parsley.
Place half of mashed potatoes on the bottom of a medium ovenproof deep-dish. Cover with ground beef sauce and top with remaining mashed potatoes. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top and bake until top is golden brown and pie is heated through; 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool 15 minutes. Serve with jasmine rice on the side (optional).
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