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Fall is officially here; the weather is getting cooler and I finally went out and ripped up most of the dead plants in the garden. There were still a ton of green tomatoes though, so I picked them and created a meal around them. As you know, I love fried green tomatoes, but don’t really enjoy frying things that much, and can really only eat so many of them. So, I decided to make a green tomato casserole. This robust side dish needed an entree that wouldn’t be overshadowed by the zing of the tomatoes so I decided to make my grandmother’s “hot Italian roast beef” with some rice. It was a perfect meal for a cool autumn evening, and we’re still eating the roast on sandwiches.

Green Tomato Casserole

5-6 medium sized green tomatoes (or more)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. pepper
bread crumbs
1 cup cheddar cheese with some extra for sprinkling
1 tbsp. butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Slice tomatoes about 1/4″ thick and line the bottom of an 8×8″ casserole dish. Mix salt, sugar, and pepper together in a bowl and sprinkle over tomato slices. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and half of cheese. Place another layer of tomatoes, seasoning, bread crumbs and cheese. End with a layer of tomatoes, seasoning, and bread crumbs. Dot with butter and bake for 1 hour. Once casserole is bubbly and brown around the edges sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake until melted.

Hot Italian Roast Beef

1 tbsp. butter
1 5 lb. beef roast (I think I used top round roast)
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
1/3 c. water
2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 tsp. salt

In a Dutch oven melt butter over medium heat. Brown roast on all sides. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer until roast is tender (about 3.5 – 4 hours). Remove meat from broth and make gravy by thickening broth slightly. When ready to serve slice meat and reheat in gravy. This makes very good hot roast beef sandwiches.
I found that the roast was pretty charred on the bottom by the end of the braising…next time I’ll turn it occasionally. This could also be made in the slow cooker after the meat has been browned.