Food - Drink
Why You Should Par-Cook Some Ingredients For Casseroles
Casseroles are delicious and convenient dishes that can feed a whole family while also using up leftover veggies, starches, meat, or cheeses laying around in the fridge. However, for the best end result, you should treat your casserole ingredients with a bit more care, rather than throwing them all into a dish and shoving it in the oven.
If you want tender veggies and properly-cooked meat in your casseroles, Martha Stewart recommends partially or fully cooking these ingredients before baking them in the oven. A good rule of thumb is to quickly blanch softer vegetables, like broccoli, and boil hard veggies like potatoes for a little longer, but not to full doneness.
A lot of casseroles also contain onions, which just need a quick sauté, while meat should be fully cooked and its fat/juices drained away to avoid undercooked meat and excess grease in your final dish. Just remember that ingredients besides meat should only be partially cooked before going in the oven, to avoid dryness.