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Mama Deb
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Purim Casserole (Meat)

Ashkenazi Orthodox Jews have a saying that is translated as "There is no celebration without meat and wine." It's not a law, it's a custom, and clearly if you do not like either, that would tend to put a damper on the celebration instead of enhancing it. But the saying remains.

As the Purim seudah is a celebratory meal (you know. "They tried to kill us. They failed. Let's eat!" - pretty much the meaning of Purim), we decided it needed meat. But as it had to be eaten no later than midday, the normal yom tov style meal would be a bit much, especially with Shabbat that night. Also, as we were making it at home but taking it somewhere else, it had to be easily transportable.

And, you know. I've been wanting to try a breakfast style casserole since I first read about them.

So. This is a recipe designed to be expanded or contracted according to the number of people served. I made enough for ten, but I'll give the recipe for four.

4 medium red potatoes
1 pound of ground beef
1 red pepper
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
4 eggs
1/2 cup soy milk
Red pepper flakes
Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350°

1. Brown the ground beef in large skillet. Add pepper flakes, ground pepper and oregano. If making with non-kosher meat, add salt. When brown, remove from pan and drain grease.

2. Finely dice red pepper, onion and garlic. Heat oil in same skillet, and cook red pepper and onion until soft and onion is translucent. Part way through, add garlic. Also add the same spices as in the ground beef.

3. Wash and peel (if desired) potatoes, and slice very thinly. Combine with the other ingredients in large casserole.

4. Beat eggs and soy milk together, add fresh pepper (and salt for non-kosher meat) and pour over the mixture in the casserole, stirring to combine. Bake for at least one hour, until eggs are set and potatoes are cooked.

Sprinkle with paprika before serving.

1. I used one medium potato, 1 1/4lb meat and one egg per person. I didn't measure the soy milk - this is a guess. Don't increase the onion and red pepper unless you double the recipe.

2. I used a combination of ground chuck and ground skirt steak, which gave me a nice meat/fat ration.

3. If I were to make this recipe dairy, I'd reduce the eggs by 1/4, add 1/2 lb grated cheese, and use vegetarian soy breakfast links instead of the ground beef. It can't be made vegan, but it can be made dairy free by using a ground meat substitute.

4. I was originally going to use kosher garlic kielbasa but one of my guests can't have nitrates. I might still do this at home.

5. When I more than doubled the recipe, it took 90 minutes to cook. Plan accordingly.

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We make something similar (at least, a variation on the same theme) that we call a frittata. Panfry sausage with some garlic and onions, in a big oven-safe dutch oven or high-walled skillet; peel and boil some potatoes until they're nearly done, then throw them in; add chopped bell peppers and/or hot peppers; and then beat a dozen eggs, spice to taste (we use black pepper and hot red pepper), pour them over the top, and bake until the eggs are set and are beginning to brown a bit on top. Alternately, you could leave out the sausage (or use TVP or some kind of faux meat) and add slivers of provolone or parmesan cheese to the mix -- that's also yummy. We tried it once with more kinds of vegetables (carrots, summer squash) but their texture didn't make me as happy. We usually make a big one; it actually makes a fine supper, with a green salad, and it's even tastier the next day for lunch.

I do that with leftover spaghetti and meat sauce - mix the pasta and sauce with eggs, pour into ovenproof skillet and bake.

And, yes, it's very yummy with salad and good room temp for lunch.

sephardi pride

not to be a downer, but that saying is from the Babylonian Talmud. So equally belongs to jews of all rites. Except Karaites! Us sephardim can meat and wine it up with equal vim.

That sounds yummy. Thanks!