Thursday, February 23, 2012

Macarona Bachamel

Here's a revision on the beloved "Macarona Bachamel" an Egyptian dish which resembles the Greek Pastitsio very much.

I had some ground beef but wasn't in the mood for lasagne. Macarona bechamel was perfect, also this dish has no cheese in it, only a thick creamy custard! It goes well with salad, and tastes great cold too, a perfect pot luck dish. I baked it in my new Samsung Range :)


Part 1 - Sauce:

2 tbsp oil

1 lb ground beef

4 tbsp tomato paste (or 3/4 small can)

Salt & black pepper

1/4 tsp cinnamon


In a pot heat the oil and brown the meat, season it with salt & pepper. Add the cinnamon. Stir in the tomato paste and brown it a bit to remove the raw taste. Add enough boiled water to make a sauce like consistency.

Cover and simmer on low for 15-20 mins.

Set aside.

Part 2 - Boiling pasta:

In another pot or the same pot, remove the meat sauce and bring water to a boil.
Add salt.

Boil 3/4 standard package of large pasta (penne or tubes, something big)

Once they are cooked, strain and rinse with cold water to cool them down a bit.

In the meantime prepare a casserole or deep baking dish.
Layer a teeny bit of sauce on the bottom just so the pasta doesn't stick (I removed a bit of the oily off the top of the sauce for this)

Divide the boiled pasta in half, the first half goes into the pan nice and evenly.
Now top with all the sauce you made, nice and evenly.

The last batch of pasta goes over the sauce in an even layer.

Set the casserole aside for now.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 375-400 F.

Part 3 - Bechamel Sauce:

- Approximately 4 tbsp butter
- Approximately 1/3 cup flour
- Approximately 4 cups milk
- 1 egg
- half a tsp salt
-1/8 tsp nutmeg

In the same pot (cleaned or wiped up) or another pot melt the butter on medium high heat, add the flour and blend it to make a roux. Cook it until it bubbles stirring well so it doesn't burn and immediately add milk (it could be warmed or cold, it works either way)

Stir and stir until it thickens, once it's thick enough to coat the back of a spoon or kinda like warm pudding or custard consistency then remove off the heat.

Add the nutmeg, a dash of salt and while whisking quickly drop the egg you had previously cracked into a bowl and whisk it up really well to incorporate into the sauce. You must do this quickly as the sauce is hot and you don't want the egg to cook in large pieces once it hits the cream sauce so whisk it well.

Pour the cream sauce all over the top of the pasta in the baking dish.

Part 4 - Baking:

Now bake in the preheated oven for 30 mins or until top is browned. After 30 mins if the top isn't browned set it on broil and watch it, it will develop dark brown blisters and then remove it immediately.

Wait for it to cool down before serving as it tastes better that way, also makes GREAT leftovers!! Tastes even better the next day.

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