Thursday, July 28, 2005

Mediteranean Spiced Beef

This is another recipe I've had sitting around for years, one we cut out of an old "First" magazine. The magazine calls it "Spiced Beef with Grilled Pita". since we had nearly all of the ingredients on hand, we decided to give it a try. I was pretty surprised at how pleasant it tasted and how easy it was to make. The one ingredient I didn't have was the pita (I really like the pita they carry at Aladdin's Eatery in Grandview. At $1.99 for a pretty good sized bag (15 of them?), it's a pretty good deal. They're much flatter and tastier than those fat store bought pita, more like lavash. Since I didn't have any, I used some tortillas and they worked fine. I WILL use Aladdin's pita next time, though, and I'm also thinking this would be fantastic using ground lamb...

Yogurt Sauce:
1/2 Cup Plain Yogurt
3/4 teaspoon Fresh Mint, chopped

1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano (I used a Tablespoon of the fresh stuff from my garden, minced)
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup tomato sauce
vegetable oil

1) Combine the yogurt and the mint in a small bowl and put it in the refrigerator.
2) Crumble the beef in a frying pan and brown over medium heat. Drain the fat off.
3) Into the beef, stir the next nine ingrdients (onion thru tomato sauce).
4) Cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes to blend the flavors.
5) Grill the pitas by brushing them with oil and grilling them quickly on both sides in a large pan over high heat.
6) openthe pitas to make a pocket and fill witht he meat.
7) Serve with the yogurt sauce.

I served them in grilled tortillas, with the yogurt sauce and some finely shredded romaine and some steamed french green beans.



Liza said...

Mediteranean people love beef servings on special events i.e. thanksgiving. Once I've eaten Keftedes Saltsa which was awesome. And your recipe looks like the same .. I'd definitely give it a try this weekend.

Lorence, Columbus, Ohio said...

I love the keftedes at Alladin's restaurant here in town, and they also have a wonderful variation at our favorite Greek restaruant, "My Big Fat Greek Kuzina" (I swear, that's really the name!) The biggest challenge here is finding good "ethnic" food that hasnt' been Americanized or dumbed-down.

Liza, Please let me know what you think of this recipe, especially if you have any suggestions or modifications. I haven't made this in a while, so I appreciate the reminder, too - I need to make it again.

I had no idea that Mediteranean people (or others outside the US) celebrated Thanksgiving. I imagine their celebration is quite different than ours here. I find that quite interesting. Thanks!