Wild Rice Hot Dish {Casserole}

from melskitchencafe.com

*Note: Because straight wild rice can be fairly expensive, I usually buy a packaged blend of wild and brown rice or wild and long grain rice. It is a bit cheaper and tastes delicious and hearty.

*Serves 4-6

1 cup wild rice

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

3 tablespoons butter

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

8 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced

1/4 cup flour

1 1/2 cups chicken, beef or vegetable broth

1 1/2 cups milk

1 teaspoon seasoning salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons dried parsley

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup sliced almonds

In a small bowl, cover the wild rice with cold water and let it soak for 15 minutes while you prepare the rest of the dish.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large non-stick skillet (12-inch) over medium heat, brown the ground beef until no longer pink. Drain the grease from the meat. Transfer the meat to a paper-towel lined plate and wipe out the skillet with a paper towel. Return the skillet to the stovetop and melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and mushrooms. Cook, until the onions are translucent and the most of the liquid has evaporated from the mushrooms, about 5-7 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir to combine. Continue stirring and cook the mixture for about 1 minute over medium heat until it is cooked and golden.

Slowly pour in the broth and milk and whisk to incorporate. Add the seasoning salt, pepper, parsley, thyme and paprika and bay leaf. Stir to combine.

Stir in the wild rice and the browned hamburger. Transfer the mixture to a lightly greased 9X13-inch baking dish.

Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the foil, sprinkle with the almonds and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the almonds are golden and toasted and the rice is tender. Serve immediately.