Greek pastitsio

Recipe from: 23 March 2011

Ingredients 26
Servings 12
Time 20 mins

Ingredients

  • 1
    kg
    beef mince (ground beef)
  • 2
    large onions, finely chopped
  • 3
    large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3
    celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 4
    garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2
    bay leaves
  • 2
    tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1
    small tin tomato paste
  • 350
    ml
    beef stock
  • 1
    tsp
    dried mint
  • 1
    Tbs
    dried oregano
  • 1
    tsp
    ground nutmeg
  • 1
    tsp
    ground cloves
  • 1
    tsp
    ground cumin
  • 2
    tsp
    sugar
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • For the béchamel:
  • 75
    g
    butter
  • 40
    g
    flour
  • 650
    ml
    milk, heated
  • 1
    tsp
    ground nutmeg
  • 1
    tsp
    paprika
  • 1
    cup
    mature cheddar, grated (optional)
  • salt & black pepper to taste
  • 1
    kg
    penne pasta, cooked
  • oil for frying
 

Method

1.5 hrs
 
Start by making the meat sauce. In a large pot, fry the minced beef until browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.
In the same pot, fry the onions, carrots, celery and garlic until soft and fragrant. Add the bay leaves. Add the minced beef back into the pot and add the tomatoes, tomato paste, beef stock, herbs and sugar. Allow to come to simmering point and turn the heat down.
Place the lid on the pot and allow to simmer gently for 30 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 180°c and grease an oven proof dish (make sure it’s big enough).
To make the béchamel, gently melt the butter in a saucepan ensuring it doesn’t change colour. Stir in the flour until a glossy paste is formed.
Slowly pour in the warm milk. Only pour in a few tablespoons at a time and make sure that it’s well incorporated before adding again. When half of the milk has been incorporated, switch to a balloon whisk and add larger amount of the milk whilst whisking. The sauce should be thick and smooth.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the spices and cheese. Season to taste. At this point, also check the seasoning of the meat sauce and adjust.
To assemble the pastitsio, combine the cooked pasta with just over half of the Béchamel sauce.
Carefully transfer half of the pasta to your prepared oven dish.
Next, pour over all of the meat sauce and smooth out. Follow with the rest of the pasta and finally the remaining of the Béchamel sauce.
Place the assembled pastitsio into the pre-heated oven and allow to bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.
Remove the pastitsio from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving with a mixed salad and crusty bread.
 
Reprinted with permission of Simply Delicious.
To visit Simply Delicious’ blog, click here.
 

 

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