Tag Archives: ground beef

Ratatouille

ratatouille-on-riceOne thing I thank a long ago boyfriend for is introducing me to ratatouille. He used the Joy of Cooking recipe, but added ground beef and cumin. That radically changes it from the vegetable casserole in the Joy. Both are equally, but differently, delicious. The Joy describes it as looking “like a very successful Braque still-life” (Rombauer & Becker). So here is the original recipe with changes in italics and strikethroughs.

Joy‘s Eggplant Casserole or Ratatouille Provençale

(8 servings)

Peel, slice and salt* 1 medium eggplant (2 1/2 cups diced)

eggplant slices salted*To get of excess moisture: slice eggplant cross-wise, about 3/4-1 inch thick. Lay slices on paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Leave about 10 minutes, then turn over and salt the other side. Let sit another 10 minutes. Rinse, pat dry, then dice. (I do not peel the eggplant.)

Put in a deep skillet 1/4-1/3 olive oil

Sauté until golden:

  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 2 cloves garlic (pressed or minced)

onions-and-garlic fryingAdd 1 lb (1/2 k) lean ground beef and brown. Pour off excess grease.

Add:

  • 1/2 cup whole pitted black olives
  • 4 julienned green (and/or red) peppers, seeds and membrane removed
  • 3 cups zucchini in 1/2 inch slices (about 3 medium)
  • 2 cups skinned, seeded, quartered tomatoes (or whole, fresh or cooked)

Add drained eggplant. Sprinkle the mixture with olive oil.

vegetables-and-beef in potAdd 1/2 tsp oregano or 2 tsp chopped fresh basil (Joy says optional, I say either or both, fresh or dried.)

Add 2-3 tsp ground cumin, more or less, to taste.

Simmer covered over very low heat about 45 mins. Uncover and continue to heat 15 mins. longer to reduce the amount of liquid. Add salt and a grating of fresh pepper.

cooked-ratatouilleWhile it’s cooking, make steamed rice. Serve hot – on a bed of rice – or cold with cultured sour cream.

Meatloaf

Meatloaf, potatoes au gratin, tomato & artichoke salad1 1/2 lb ground beef

1/2 lb ground pork or pork sausage

1 cup soft breadcrumbs

2 eggs, well beaten

1 cup milk

3 tbsp minced onion

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp dry mustard

1/4 cup ketchup

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce or Lea & Perrins steak sauce

– Mix all ingredients well in a large bowl, and then put in an ungreased loaf pan.  Bake at 350˚ until done, about 50 mins.

Meatloaf in pan, cookedThis is my mother-in-law’s recipe and it’s the best meatloaf I have ever tasted.  The addition of pork makes it juicier than those made with beef only.  I have added small amounts of chopped celery, water chestnuts and/or olives.  They are good in it, but not necessary.  Marji preferred to mound the mixture in an iron skillet so it browned all the way around and the grease flowed off it.  I prefer a loaf pan so it has the traditional meatloaf shape.  When it’s done, I pour the grease off – carefully.

The top photo shows it served with potatoes au gratin and a tomato and artichoke heart salad.  The potatoes came from a box and take the same length of time to bake as the meatloaf at the same temperature.