Source: Bessie Hull, improvised
- 1.5 lbs ground beef (80% lean) and/or ground lamb
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped fine
- 1/2 green or red bell pepper, chopped fine
- 2-3 cloves garlic (or 4-6 cloves roasted garlic
- 1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1/4 c grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- salt and pepper
- potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, and/or turnips
Heat oil. Add onions. Sautee a couple minutes, then add bell pepper
and garlic. Sautee until soft. Add tomatoes, worcestershire sauce,
spices. Cook on low/medium another 10 minutes. Let cool.
Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease an 8.5x11 baking dish.
Mix eggs into ground beef. Fold in onion-tomato mixture, then
parmesan cheese. Mold into rectangular shape in baking dish, leaving
1.5 inches on all sides. Cut root vegetables into 1/2-to-3/4-inch
cubes. Dress lightly with olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary.
Add root vegetables around the sides.
Bake 1 hour.
I was originally trying to duplicate my mother's recipe, which as
far as I know has never been written down. Main things I know for sure
are that she used onion and green bell pepper and never used any kind
of bread filler. (My sister-in-law tells me that she used 2 slices of
toasted bread, then crumbled and soaked in milk.)
She used tomato sauce instead of diced tomatoes, added a little sugar,
and certainly didn't use garlic. The worcestershire and spices were
suggested by other recipes I looked at. The parmesan was strictly my
I tried this once wrapping bacon over the top. OK as far as it
goes, but seems unnecessary.
I sometimes use 2 lb. ground beef in a larger baking dish. Everything
else can be measured the same or bumped up a bit. Ground beef leaner than
80% comes out drier. I haven't tried anything less lean.
I usually split the meat between ground beef and lamb (1 lb each).
I have also substituted ground pork and/or ground veal, both excellent.
I've tried topping with strips of bacon. Not necessary, but works
I've gone as high as 1/2 cup parmesan, with good results. Still no
sense of cheese there. Probably helps as a binder.