It was 7th District Representative Collin Peterson took top honors this year the recent Minnesota Congressional Hotdisch Cook-Off, sponsored annual by Senator Al Franken.
Congressman Peterson, who represents the area in the US House, beat out the recipes of nine fellow Minnesota lawmakers.
According to the recipe; other wild game can be substituted if Minnesota Black Bear is not immediately at hand.
The concoction also features potato oles’ and – of course – cream of mushroom soup.
Peterson says the dish is topped with Cheddar Cheese; and finished in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes then allowed to rest for 7 minutes before serving — if you can “bear” to wait.
Right to Bear Arms Hotdish – Congressman Collin Peterson
1.5 pounds of lean ground bear meat *may substitute other ground meat (wild game preferred) if bear is not readily available.
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 leek, chopped
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 stick butter
1 pound of frozen potato olés
10 ounce can of cream of celery soup
10 ounce can of cream of mushroom soup
8 sprigs of fr
esh marjoram, chopped
15 sprigs of fresh thyme, chopped
1 bunch of fresh chives, chopped
12 ounces of frozen green beans, French cut
4 ounces sharp Cheddar, shredded
2 ounces aged Gouda, shredded
2 ounces Gruyere, shredded
½ can chow mein noodles
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Grease a hotdish pan using a stick of butter until well greased (don’t use all the butter). Line the bottom of the pan with a solid layer of potato olés (you won’t use the entire bag). Put the pan in the oven for 15 minutes to brown the potatoes.
Melt a pad of butter in a cast iron skillet on medium high heat. Add onion and leek and sauté for three minutes. Put bear meat in the pan and use a spatula to break down the meat as it browns. Do not overcook. Season with cracked black pepper as you go.
Remove browned potato olés from the oven and spread the bear mixture on top. Turn oven heat down to 375°F. In another bowl, mix both cream soups, marjoram, thyme, chives, and frozen green beans. Mix vigorously, then spread evenly over the potato and bear layers in the hotdish. Sprinkle cheddar atop it all.
Cover the hotdish with aluminum foil and bake at 35 minutes.
Remove the foil, and sprinkle Gouda, Gruyère, and chow mein noodles atop the hotdish. Place back in oven, uncovered, and turn the heat up to 400°F for 25 minutes.
Remove from oven. Let stand for 10 minutes, if you can bear to wait.