Dried Beef & Scrambled Egg Casserole

Back when I was writing monthly cooking columns for Abilene's Reflector-Chronicle, I interviewed Pat Berkley. She shared the recipe for this hearty dish that begins with a basic white sauce enhanced with breakfast meats and mushrooms. According to Pat, the casserole can be assembled ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for several days until ready to bake. Or, make it ahead, freeze, and then thaw completely before baking. Pat often doubles this recipe and freezes it to take on family skiing trips. Leftovers may be heated  in the microwave for additional breakfast meals.
We used this casserole (which was assembled the night before) for a holiday brunch entrée. Accompaniments included Roasted Potatoes, a Kiwi Christmas Tree fruit platter, Angel Biscuits and Glazed Pumpkin-Pecan Cake Doughnuts.  We started the party with  Bloody Mary cocktails made from Robert's Award-winning Bloody Mary Mix

Dried Beef and Scrambled Egg Casserole      8 to 10 servings
Gravy: 
Fry in a skillet, cut up and then set aside . . .
4 slices bacon 


In the same skillet, combine and cook . . .
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (+ I added 1/2 teaspoon pepper)

Gradually stir in and then cook until thick . . .
4 cups milk

Add fried bacon and . . .
1 (4 oz.) can sliced mushrooms, drained (I used fresh mushrooms that I sautéed in a 
little olive oil)

1 (2.25 oz.) jar dried beef, cut into pieces (seems that jarred beef is hard to find in a smaller town but we did find dried beef in a package—2.5 oz.)


(I also added about a tablespoon of parsley flakes)

Simmer to develop flavors. (Taste and add additional salt and pepper as needed. Because the dried beef is salty, additional salt may not be needed.)

Eggs:
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
16 eggs
1 cup canned evaporated milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
Melt butter in a large skillet. 
Add 16 eggs mixed with evaporated milk and salt; scramble in melted butter. Cook just until eggs are set and still moist. Do not overcook!


To assemble:
In a 9”x 12” baking dish layer half of eggs and gravy; top with another layer of eggs and gravy.
Bake immediately or store in the refrigerator until ready to bake.  

Bake in a preheated 275° oven for 1 hour.  If casserole has been made ahead and refrigerated, it may need some additional time in the oven.

Recipe without photos . . .
Dried Beef and Scrambled Egg Casserole      8 to 10 servings
Gravy:  
Fry in a skillet, cut up and then set aside . . .  4 slices bacon  
In the same skillet, combine and cook . . .
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter 
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (+ I added 1/2 teaspoon pepper)
Gradually stir in and then cook until thick . . . 4 cups milk
Add fried bacon and . . .
1 (4 oz.) can sliced mushrooms, drained (I used fresh mushrooms that I sautéed in a 
little olive oil)
1 (2.25 oz.) jar dried beef, cut into pieces (seems that jarred beef is hard to find in a smaller town but we did find dried beef in a package—2.5 oz.)
 (I also added about a tablespoon of parsley flakes)
Simmer to develop flavors. (Taste and add additional salt and pepper as needed. Because the dried beef is salty, additional salt may not be needed.)

Eggs:
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
16 eggs
1 cup canned evaporated milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
Melt butter in a large skillet. 
Add 16 eggs mixed with evaporated milk and salt; scramble in melted butter. Cook just until eggs are set and still moist. Do not overcook!

To assemble: 
In a 9”x 12” baking dish layer half of eggs and gravy; top with another layer of eggs and gravy. 
Bake immediately or store in the refrigerator until ready to bake.   

Bake in a preheated 275° oven for 1 hour.  If casserole has been made ahead and refrigerated, it may need some additional time in the oven.

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