Beef Pie with Eggplant and Pine Nuts


I wanted to prepare this recipe for a long time, but somehow didn’t find the time for it. Recently, when cleaning the small table in the living room, I got my eyes on it, and decided that it was time.

What can I tell about the result? Very tasty (in a distinct Mediterranean style). Meat and eggplants is a fairly common combination. Sometimes we even add some eggplant into kebabs/cutlets to make them more juicy. So, this dish doesn’t offer anything “conceptually” new. The upside is that it is really tasty. Even the lack of spice doesn’t affect the result, since the eggplants make good companions for the meat. If someone wants to spice this up, adding cumin or thyme could work really well here. This is a very quick and tasty dish, that could be prepared for dinner in a very short time.

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Ingredients:

(For baking form, 28 centimeters in diameter)

1 pack of puff pastry dough sheets (much better if it is with butter)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion
500 gr, ground beef
800 gr. eggplants pulp (approximately 4 medium-sized eggplants)
3 tbsp. pine nuts
Salt, Pepper

2 tbsp. bread crumbs
Butter for “greasing” the baking form
1 egg

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Russian Beef Stew with Porcini Mushrooms, White Wine and Vegetables


Here’s a very nice variation on Russian beef stew. It is very light and could serve as a great dish on every table.

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Ingredients:

1.5 kg beef
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Some flour
1 large onion
20 gr. dried Porcini mushrooms
1 bottle dry white wine
5 sprigs of thyme
salt and pepper
water (or vegetable broth)

Preparation:

Cut the meat into cubes (approximately 2 x 2 x 2 centimeters). Cut the onion into half-rings. Put the dried mushrooms into a bowl and pour a glass of boiling water on them.

Warm up the frying pan, heat the vegetable oil, add onion and thyme and fry. When ready, remove the content of the frying pan.

Roll the meat cubes in flour. The best technique to do this is in a plastic bag – put a couple of tablespoons of floor in, add some meat cubes close and shake vigorously to reach the desired effect.

When ready start frying the meat cubes on high heat (not all of them together – better to do that in small portions). Afterwards, add back the onion and thyme, pour in the wine and bring to boiling.

In the meantime, squeeze the mushrooms to remove extra liquids and chop them into small parts. Add both the mushroom parts and the water squeezed from the mushrooms into the pan containing the meat. Then top up with the additional water (or vegetable stock) to cover the “barely” cover the meat with liquids. Add salt and pepper, bring to boiling and then simmer over low heat for 2-2.5 hours.

As a garnish for this dish I would recommend some simple oven-baked vegetables.

1 cauliflower
1 large sweet potato
1 large onion
2 small zucchini
3 branches of thyme
10 garlic cloves
Salt (better use coarse)
2 tbsp. olive oil

Dismantle the cauliflower into florets, coarsely slice other vegetables (important – leave the garlic cloves intact). Add some salt, pour in the oil and mix by hands. Bake in the oven on 200C for approximately 40 minutes until the vegetables are ready.

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Beef Stew with Dates and Brandy


This is a classical “Russian” stew, called in Russian “Jarkoie” – quite simple to make and very tasty when served hot (fresh from the pot).

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Ingredients:

1 kg of meat to roast (In my case, I used the brisket)
3 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions
3 garlic cloves
dried dates (*)
1/3 tbsp. brandy
1 sprig of rosemary
salt and pepper

* In my case, I have used the prepared chopped dried dates (they were sold in a pressed brick form in a vacuumed package, usually for making desserts). I’ve cut a small brick of approximately 2*8 centimeters. Instead you could use 10-15 dried dates, just peel them, remove the stone and either grind them in the blender with the brandy into a homogeneous mass, or just cut them into small pieces.

Process:

Cut the onion into small cubes. Cut the meat into larger cubes (approximately 2 cms). Peel the garlic clove, press them with the knife and then cut into small pieces.

Warm the oil in a heavy pot. Fry the onions until transparent. Gradually add the meat and fry the cubes on all sides. Add the garlic and fry until a typical fried garlic smell appears.Then add the dates and the brandy and bring to boiling. Add salt and pepper, put rosemary and simmer under closed lid on low heat for 2 hours (until the meat is tender).

In our case, the dish was served with fried potato wedges.

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Did you like this recipe? Do you think that you are going to cook it anytime soon? Have you already tried it?

Please leave us comments about your experience…..