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Seasonal Recipe and Beer Pairing: Greek Casserole “Pastitsio”

Nov 22, 2017 01:12PM

Greek Casserole “Pastitsio” 

1/2 cup olive oil

2 lbs. ground beef

1/4 cup red wine

1 1/2 cups tomato sauce 

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 yellow onion, minced

4 tbsp. chopped parsley

2 tsp. cinnamon

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 tsp. allspice

1 tsp. dried cumin 

1 tsp. dried oregano 

1 package macaroni or penne pasta

*4 tbsp. bread crumbs 

1 stick unsalted butter

4 egg whites, beaten

1 3/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese

Parsley, to garnish 

*I make my own by putting a loaf of French bread in the blender.

                                                 

Béchamel Sauce 

2 sticks unsalted butter

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 quart milk, warmed

8 egg yolks, beaten

2 tsp. ground nutmeg

Salt and pepper, to taste

                                       

Heat a large pan over medium heat with olive oil. Add in the ground beef and cook until the beef is pink (about 5 minutes). Add in the wine, tomato sauce, garlic, onion, parsley, cinnamon, salt and pepper, allspice, cumin and oregano. Simmer for about 10 minutes. While the sauce is simmering, boil the water for the pasta. When the pasta is done, rinse under cool water and drain. Set aside.

Stir the bread crumbs into the meat sauce to absorb the liquids. Remove the pan from the heat. Melt 1/2 cup of butter in the pasta pot, and mix with the pasta, beaten egg whites, and 1 cup of cheese.

Brush a baking dish or lasagna dish with olive oil and place half the pasta on the bottom. Add the meat filling to the top of the pasta, making sure it’s evened out. Repeat the same steps.

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees Fahrenheit and prepare the béchamel sauce.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add flour and whisk frequently to make a smooth roux or paste. Cook the mixture for about a minute, making sure not to burn it. Add the warm milk and whisk. Simmer on medium heat until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and whisk in the beaten egg yolks. Add the nutmeg and salt and pepper.

Pour the béchamel sauce over the casserole, and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Remove from the oven and let cool. Cut in squares and serve with chopped parsley over the top. Yields about 24 servings.


Pairs With

Crooked Lane Brewing Company’s Wobblor Doppelbock
ABV: 8.6%
Auburn’s Crooked Lane is a fairly new brewery—they recently celebrated their one-year anniversary—that’s doing big things in a big space (2,500 square feet) and committed to community. Specializing in traditional English ales, West Coast-style IPAs and German lagers, they’ve already garnered several awards, including a Gold Medal from the Great American Beer Festival and the California State Fair for their Wobblor Doppelbock—a medium-bodied beer with notes of toffee, caramel and stone fruit, offering a mix of sweetness and strong malt flavors. Try is alongside a hearty, meat-based dish, like this month’s Greek Casserole.—Eden Tuscano, 36 Handles


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