Sunday, March 25, 2012

Passover Meat Thing

Wow!  Thank you!  With all of the preparations you have for Pesach you actually took the time to read this week…thanks so much!!!

I’m going to share one of our family’s all-time favorite Pesach recipes:  Passover Meat Thing.  The recipe started out years ago as a sort of Passover, matzoh, meat lasagna-ish type dish.  Not really lasagna (no cheese or noodles), it didn’t really earn the right to be called lasagna – so we had to come up with another creative name.  Although we failed miserably at the name (Passover Meat Thing?), after many iterations of trying to make the perfect “Thing”, it’s one of the most requested dishes in our house on Pesach.  Aside from the fact that they like the way it tastes, I think it might have something to do with the fact that my family likes to ask for the “Meat Thing” with a distinctly Southern twanged accent pronouncing it “Meat Thang”.  This recipe is one of my favorites because it’s actually better rewarmed after being stored in the fridge for a while…a definite bonus when getting the cooking done (in advance?) for the Holiday! 

In my early trials of the recipe, I simply slapped the lean ground beef between the layers of matzoh, covered it with sauce, baked it, and then served it. The problem I found was that although there was some fat in the meat to moisten the matzoh, the matzoh layers didn’t have any real flavor and they weren’t moist after baking – so you ended up basically eating a baked multi-layer hamburger matzoh sandwich.  That’s fine, but not really what I was looking for.  The solution came to me while making my huge vat of chicken soup one year.  I simply ladled some of the soup from the pot over each layer of matzoh before covering it with the ground beef.  It resulted in giving the matzoh great flavor, and a much softer “pastalike” matzoh layer between the meat layers.  You could also add additional pasta sauce between the layers, but I don’t – when the Meat Thing is cut, it’s prettier when the matzoh layers are white.

I won't plague you with the
Sadly, I am not one of those people who cook for Pesach two months in advance.  My cooking is generally a marathon event taking place the week prior to the Holiday.  I may start a little earlier, but not by much.  So, at this moment in time – no Passover Meat Thing photos….sorry! When I do make it closer to Pesach I’ll add the photos – really, I will.  However, I will leave you with a teaser photo though of one of the recipes in my article coming out this week (link will be right in this spot when it posts).  Can you guess what it is??

You can also refer to some of my previous Pesach articles and recipes to help with your menu preparations.   We’ll get through this together…really, we will!

My Gluten Free Passover article at Broccoli Kugel and Passover Stuffing

And if you’re not ready for Pesach yet and need to still get rid of your chametz:

Hope this helps!  More to come…

Passover Meat Thing (“Thang”)
1                    26 ounce jar                   pasta sauce
1                    box                                matzoh, around 8 matzohs
2                    pounds                           extra lean ground beef
                                                            additional spices (optional)
2                    large                               eggs
6-8                cups                                chicken stock
                                                             non-stick vegetable spray or oil

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Spray a tall 9”x13” pan with non-stick vegetable spray or grease with oil.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, eggs, and any additional spices you prefer.  Set aside

Ladle a half ladleful (around ½ cup) of stock into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Place a matzoh in the pan.  Ladle a half ladleful (around ½ cup) of stock over the matzoh until moistened, adding additional stock if necessary.  Some of the stock may drizzle over the sides of the matzoh, don’t worry, it will be absorbed during baking.  Spread an approximately ½ - ¾ inch layer of ground beef mixture over the moistened matzoh.  Top with another matzoh, and repeat the ladling and layering process until all the ground beef is used, finishing with a matzoh on top.  Ladle a half ladleful (around ½ cup) of stock over the final matzoh until moistened.  Pour the entire jar of pasta sauce over the matzoh, spreading to evenly cover.  Some of the sauce may drizzle over the sides.

Cover tightly with foil and bake for 60 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.  Cut into squares.  I usually serve it as a cut whole.

1.       To reheat:  Bake covered for 30-45 minutes in a 350° F oven.
2.       You can make the Meat Thing with fewer, thicker meat layers, for a delicious alternative to the “regular” recipe.

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