Thursday, 26 May 2016

Greek Pastitsio – Baked Pasta with Beef Mince and Creamy Bechamel Sauce – So delicious! This is Real Restaurant Quality! You will lick Your Plate! – Guaranteed!

Serving Size 509 g x 12 Servings Per Serving: Calories 753

900 g minced beef
60 ml olive oil
2 onions, diced (about 1 + ½ cups)
12 cloves garlic, large (minced)
Salt to taste
2.5 ml black pepper, freshly ground
15 ml oregano, dried
5 ml thyme, dried
5 ml cinnamon, ground
20 ml sugar, to taste
1 cinnamon roll (freshly ground)
30ml parsley, chopped (fresh)
680 g (24 ounces) pasta

Bechamel Sauce:

90ml butter
90ml cake flour
1250 ml whole milk
250ml heavy cream
4 eggs, beaten
2.5ml ground nutmeg
1.25ml white pepper, to taste
117 g grated Parmesan cheese (1 1/3 cups)
333 ml crumbled feta cheese (crush it with fork or your fingers into fine
10 ml chopped fresh parsley

  1. Brown mince breaking it up with potato masher as it cooks.
  2. Remove once browned and drain off any excess grease. Set meat aside in bowl.
  3. Sauté onion and garlic with a couple dashes each of salt and pepper on medium-low heat in 2 tablespoons oil for 5 – 7 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Stir in oregano, cinnamon, thyme and cook 1 minute.
  5. Stir in the pureed tomatoes, parsley, 125 ml water, 5 ml salt and 2.5 ml black pepper.
  6. Bring to simmer and cook 25 – 30 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat.
  7. When the sauce is almost done cook pasta in plenty salted water to al dente according to the directions on the package. Drain and mix into sauce.
  8. Preheat oven to 180 C (356 F). Butter two 9 x 13 baking pans or both top and bottom of a roasting pan.
Bechamel Sauce:
  1. In a large 5 liter micro-safe bowl placed on scale weigh in the flour and crack over the eggs and with electric beaters turned off, stir in egg into flour mixture until it all wet. Switch on beaters and beat until smooth.
  2. In a 2nd large 5 liter micro-safe bowl bring milk to a rapid rolling boil. As soon as it comes to the boil with beaters running in egg flour mixture, pour over the milk all whilst constantly beating. Beat until smooth and quickly before it cools down return to microwave.
  3. Cook 2 – 3 minutes remove and give it a good whisk. Return back to oven to cook a further 2-3 minutes beating again. Repeat, beating at intervals until it thickens and mixture tastes cooked and flour and eggs no longer taste raw.
  4. Whisk the nutmeg in. Add the Butter, Cream, Parmesan, feta cheese or homemade cottage cheese and parsley. Stir until well combined. 
  5. Build your layers in the following order: 1st layer half the Pasta - 2nd layer half the meat sauce  - 3rd layer half the bechamel sauce and and then repeat the same process smoothing from edge to edge with the back of the spoon whilst layering.
  6. Bake 25 – 30 minutes until lightly golden brown. Allow to set five minutes before serving.

I baked my Pastitsio on 120 – 150 deg C in mini oven which cooks very close to top element

If using a mini oven, bake with both grill and bake switches on and watch that it does not burn!

Rotate halfway through to brown evenly. bake for 1 hour, until golden brown

and bubbly.

Set aside to set for 15-20 minutes but better for an even longer period and serve hot. It is important to bake this dish early in the morning so you have a long enough period for it to set and for all the thickened juices to be well absorbed, so that it does not collapse on serving. This tastes better on the 2nd day and even better on the 3rd day. If making for guests it pays to make this a day or two ahead. This way it will allow for the flavours to develop and it will taste by far even better!! – Enjoy!
Sourced From: cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice Thank You Reeni!