Friday, March 2, 2012

Mediterranean Flavours / Greece

Most recently Melbourne celebrated Greek culture by hosting a festival in our city. This dish brings together some of the wonderful flavours we love from Greek cuisine.

'Flavours from our Mediterranean kitchen'
serves 4


600g lamb or beef mince
3 large red and green capsicums
2-3 large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced 3mm-4mm
1 eggplant
2 large mushrooms
1/2 large brown onion or 1 small
2-3 cloves garlic
100 ml white wine
200ml Good quality vegetable stock
*if you don't have time to make your own,
then we suggest Maggie Beers Vegetable stock
3 TBS olive oil 
1 TSP mild organic chilli paste (we use 1 TBS)
1 TBS tomato paste
160 ml pasatta or 1 can of diced tomatoes
1-2 heaped TSP oregano fresh from your garden or market
1 heaped TBS parsley fresh from your garden or market
cracked black pepper

For the tzatziki;
1/4 cucumber finely sliced lengthways and then diced
170g Greek yoghurt
1/2 lemon (juice)

Brush capsicums with 1 tbs olive oil, season with salt and cracked pepper, and place into preheated oven 230 - 240 degrees. Roast until skin blisters and blackens.
Peel and thinly slice potatoes 3mm - 4mm and place into small baking tray, cover in vegetable stock liquid and place in oven for 10-5 mins. The potatoes should be tender but still firm enough to not turn mushy and break later when you add them to the mince sauce.
Begin your chopping.
Finely dice cucumber, place into bowl with yoghurt, add squeeze of lemon juice, mix, cover with cling wrap and place in refrigerator.
Slice rounds from eggplant then cut rounds into halves. Place the eggplant pieces into colander, sprinkle with salt and leave for 20 minutes.
Slice mushroom and put aside.
Finely dice garlic cloves and onion and place aside.
Once capsicums ready remove from oven, place in bowl, cover with cling wrap and refrigerate.
Once potatoes ready remove from oven, place clean tea towel over dish and place aside.
Begin cooking your sauce - In a pot (we use Le Creuset, expensive but well worth it!), sweat onion and garlic over low-medium heat. Onion should cook without colour as per photo. Add mince and turn up heat to med-high, breaking up the mince and mixing through onion and garlic. Once mince starts to turn brown from pink add white wine and remaining vegetable stock liquid from potatoes, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring. 
Bring sauce to a simmering temperature.
Add pinch pepper and taste. If you need more seasoning then add it.
Wash eggplants to remove salt, pat dry with absorbent paper.
Add tomato paste and chilli paste to mince and stir through.
Add eggplant to mince sauce and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
Add passata or diced tomatoes, and mushrooms to sauce, stir though and turn to low heat.
Take capsicum from refrigerator, peel and remove skin and seeds as per photo. Add capsicum to blender and hit the pulse button 1 or 2 times. You want the capsicum chunky, not pureed. Once complete, place into sauce with oregano and parsley and potato. Stir through to warm potato and serve.

Serve with Tzatziki and some crusty bread.


*this dish is also great the next day

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