Locale: USA

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
  • rosemary
  • potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, and/or turnips


  1. 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.

  2. Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease an 8.5x11 baking dish.

  3. 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.

  4. Bake 1 hour.


  1. 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 idea.

  2. I tried this once wrapping bacon over the top. OK as far as it goes, but seems unnecessary.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. I've tried topping with strips of bacon. Not necessary, but works as expected.

  6. I've gone as high as 1/2 cup parmesan, with good results. Still no sense of cheese there. Probably helps as a binder.


  1. 2014-02-06: