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Sunday, 28 July 2013

Mince and Ricotta Pie

This dish is a simple family meal, a winter warmer. It is a variation on Cottage Pie, Moussaka  or Lasagna if you like, and appeals to all ages. It is quite simply a ragu with a cheese topping. I served it with a green salad and garlic bread.
You could really use lamb mince or beef mince, I used beef for this recipe.
The secret is in the ragu, a slow cook and it has to be tasty.

1 kg mince
2 tablespoons Rylstone Olive Oil
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 carrot grated
1 celery stalk finely chopped
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 cup red wine
1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cups ricotta
2 eggs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup grated mozzarella cheese
 a good tablespoon finely chopped oregano

Preheat the oven to 180C.
Heat the olive oil in a fry pan and saute the onion and garlic for a minute. Add the celery and cook another 3 minutes. Add the mince and cook until it has browned. Add the carrot, tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and stock. Simmer until it has reduced slightly approx 10 minutes and add the wine. If you don't have any wine you can add extra stock or water.  I like to continue coking for about an hour at this stage, if it becomes too dry add extra water .
When the meat has absorbed a lot of the liquid, check the seasoning. If using stock always be careful of the salt content.
Place the ricotta, cheeses, eggs and oregano into a bowl and mix. You may add extra salt and pepper at this stage if required.
Spoon the mince into a appox 6 cup casserole dish and top with the ricotta and cheese mixture.
Cook for around 15-20 minutes, until cheese is golden. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.

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