Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Persian Meat Casserole (Kukuye Gusht)

My mom lived in Iran for a few years, before she got married, and has loved Persian food ever since. She gave me this recipe some time ago, but I'd only made it once before last night. It was so long ago that my kids didn't remember it. But I remembered that they'd liked it. So I cooked it last night and everyone loved the delicious flavors and moist texture.

For me, the experience of making this dish yesterday was even sweeter because of the way my kids took part. I was lacking a few ingredients but didn't have a car, so I suggested that a few of us walk to the local grocery store together to shop. I carried Miriam in my sling and Josiah and Ethan walked alongside. While at Giant, I let the boys each pick out a donut (a special treat in our house!) and then showed them how to use the self-checkout lane to buy vegetables.

When we got home, I also asked the kids to all help in the dinner preparation. Naomi held the baby, Ethan broke and beat the eggs, and Josiah washed and cut the herbs. Ethan said he'd always wanted to feel raw egg and asked if I'd let him put his hands in the bowl before we added other ingredients. I said "sure" and he delighted in the gooey texture. Meanwhile Josiah was enjoying the smell of parsley (he usually comments on scents while he cooks) and also discovering what it means to 'chop finely.'

So after a group effort, we got the casserole in the oven (our 'new' used one that was graciously given to us after ours was broken for 8 weeks), and then reveled in eating it together for dinner. Here is the recipe:

2 T butter
1 lb. ground beef (I used turkey)
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 c spinach, chopped
1 c parsley, chopped
1/2 c leeks or green onions, chopped
 1 1/4 t salt
1 t curry powder
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t pepper
5 eggs

Saute meat and onions in butter about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Add spinach, parsley & leeks. Add seasoning and mix well. Beat eggs slightly and add to the mixture. Mix well. Spoon into greased 9" pie pan. (I used an oval casserole dish.) Bake at 325 F for 30-35 min. (I added maybe an extra 10 minutes.) Serve warm, or cool with plain yogurt.

Hopefully your family will enjoy it as much as mine did! It's a winner in my book!

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