Adventures in Greek Cuizine – Patsitsio

I love Greek food. But my exposure has been limited to spinach pies, souvlaki (lemon & oregano marinated kabobs) and gyros. I really wanted to try some other traditional Greek dishes.

I happened to find this recipe for PATSITSIO on pinterest and just knew I had to try it. It looked pretty kid friendly. I mean really, meat and pasta and cheese? What’s not to love?

Jacquline has some GREAT recipes and her story about meeting her husband is just wonderful.

Well I have to say her recipe didn’t disappoint. In fact it was (to quote a co-worker who tried it) heavenly! And the kids thought so too. As well as Mr Steam. And my mom. And… well yea this makes a BOAT LOAD of food. But trust me it will all get eaten. And it should freeze well. We put some of it in single serving pouches in the freezer.

So here we go….

Gather all your ingredients. It looks like a lot, but don’t worry you can do this.Patsitsio - ingredients

Start your pasta water boiling. And preheat the oven to 350.

Saute the onions in a LARGE saute pan (this pan will also need to hold ALL the meat). Use a table spoon of olive oil. This will take 5-10 minutes. You will want to stir often to keep the onions from getting browned.Patsitsio - saute the onions

Once the onions are translucent add the minced garlic and bay leaves. Cook for 1 minute, until you can smell the garlic. You don’t want to burn the garlic.

Add all of the meat and the 2 all spice berries. Brown the meat.Patsitsio - brown the meat

Once the meat is browned drain it. Then add the white wine and tomato paste. Simmer until most of the wine has evaporated. While the wine is cooking off dig thru the pile ‘o meat to find the two all spice berries and throw them away. Let me tell ya it’s hard to find two little all spice berries in all that meat.Patsitsio - add the wine to to browned meat

Finally add the tomatoes, cinnamon and oregano. Mix and let that simmer for a few minutes. Then turn off the heat and set aside.Patsitsio - add the tomatos and seasonings

Now we get to start the white sauce. Melt the butter in a large sauce pot. Add the flour and mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes to get the flour taste out. It will look like a bunch of large crumbs in the bottom of your pot.Patsitsio - add the flour to the melted butter

Add the milk slowly whisking vigorously as you pour. It is REALLY helpful to have a helper in the kitchen at this point. One hand to pour the milk, one hand to whisk, and one hand to hold the pot still. So unless you have a 3rd hand get a helper.

Otherwise your sauce will get lumpy like mine did – see?! (My helper was entertaining the two kids so I could cook in peace.) I just took out my stick blender and blended it like crazy. Problem solved.

Patsitsio - slowly add the milk

Then you can add all the rest of the milk. Trust me it will look like a TON, but you’ll need it. Turn off the heat on the white sauce.Patsitsio - white sauce

Beat all the eggs in a bowl. Now we want to temper the eggs. Slowly pour about 1 c of the white sauce into your eggs. While you are pouring whisk continuously. This will bring the temperature of the eggs up with out scrambling them. And it will let us pour the eggs into the white sauce without them scrambling.

Mix the tempered eggs into the white sauce. Whisk the whole time you are pouring the eggs and keep stirring for a minute after the eggs have been added. Mix in 1/2 the Parmesan cheese and a few grates of fresh nutmeg.Patsitsio - mix the eggs into the white sauce

Add 1 c of the white sauce to the pasta (oh yea at some point your pasta water came to a boil. You should have added your pasta cooked it al dente and drained it). Also add about 1 c of the white sauce to the meat mixture.Patsitsio - mix 1 c of the white sauce into the pasta

Now we can start assembling the casserole. You have two choices at this time. You can either build a two layer casserole in a roasting pan or you can build 2 single layer casseroles in a regular 9×13 casserole.  I just wanted to do one casserole.

Put enough white sauce on the bottom of a roasting pan to cover then top with 1/2 of the pasta. Patsitsio - layer 1/2 the pasta

Put 1/2 of the meat mixture on top of the pastaPatsitsio - layer 1/2 the meat

Next layer is the remaining pasta.

Then the remaining meat.

Finally top with the remaining white sauce. You will want to ladle it over the top, don’t pour. If you pour it will mix up your layers.  Top the white sauce with the remaining Parmesan cheese.Patsitsio - add the remaining white saucePatsitsio - add the reamining white sauce

Bake for about 1 hr or until the patsitsio has golden brown spots.Patsitsio - golden goodness

Let the patsitsio sit for 15 mintues before cutting. Then enjoy! We sure did.Patsitsio

Recipe

Ingredients – Meat sauce

  • 3 medium onions diced
  • 2 T EVOO
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 lbs lean ground beef
  • 2 whole all spice berries (you could probably sub 1/8 t ground all spice)
  • 1 c white wine
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 1 16 oz can diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1 t oregano

Ingredients – White sauce

  • 1/2 c unsalted butter
  • 1 c all purpose flour
  • 10 cups milk (I use skim and it works just fine)
  • 8 room temp large eggs
  • 1 c grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 box of bucantini or penne pasta
  1. Start your pasta water boiling. And preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Saute the onions in a LARGE saute pan (this pan will also need to hold ALL the meat). Use a table spoon of olive oil. This will take 5-10 minutes. You will want to stir often to keep the onions from getting browned.
  3. Once the onions are translucent add the minced garlic and bay leaves. Cook for 1 minute, until you can smell the garlic. You don’t want to burn the garlic.
  4. Add all of the meat and the 2 all spice berries. Brown the meat.
  5. Once the meat is browned drain it. Then add the white wine and tomato paste. Simmer until most of the wine has evaporated. While the wine is cooking off dig thru the pile ‘o meat to find the two all spice berries and throw them away.
  6. Finally add the tomatoes, cinnamon and oregano. Mix and let that simmer for a few minutes. Then turn off the heat and set aside.
  7. Now we get to start the white sauce. Melt the butter in a large sauce pot. Add the flour and mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes to get the flour taste out. It will look like a bunch of large crumbs in the bottom of your pot.
  8. Add the milk slowly whisking vigorously as you pour. It is REALLY helpful to have a helper in the kitchen at this point. One hand to pour the milk, one hand to whisk, and one hand to hold the pot still. So unless you have a 3rd hand get a helper.  If your sauce does get lumpy use a stick blender and blended it like crazy. Problem solved.
  9. Then you can add all the rest of the milk. Trust me it will look like a TON, but you’ll need it. Turn off the heat on the white sauce.
  10. Beat all the eggs in a bowl. Now we want to temper the eggs. Slowly pour about 1 c of the white sauce into your eggs. While you are pouring whisk continuously. This will bring the temperature of the eggs up with out scrambling them. And it will let us pour the eggs into the white sauce without them scrambling.
  11. Mix the tempered eggs into the white sauce. Whisk the whole time you are pouring the eggs and keep stirring for a minute after the eggs have been added.
  12. Mix in 1/2 the Parmesan cheese and a few grates of fresh nutmeg.
  13. Add 1 c of the white sauce to the pasta (oh yea at some point your pasta water came to a boil. You should have added your pasta cooked it al dente and drained it). Also add about 1 c of the white sauce to the meat mixture.
  14. Now we can start assembling the casserole. You have two choices at this time. You can either build a two layer casserole in a roasting pan or you can build 2 single layer casseroles in a regular 9×13 casserole.  I just wanted to do one casserole.
  15. Put enough white sauce on the bottom of a roasting pan to cover then top with 1/2 of the pasta.
  16. Put 1/2 of the meat mixture on top of the pasta.
  17. Next layer is the remaining pasta.
  18. Then the remaining meat.
  19. Finally top with the remaining white sauce. You will want to ladle it over the top, don’t pour. If you pour it will mix up your layers.  Top the white sauce with the remaining Parmesan cheese.
  20. Bake for about 1 hr or until the patsitsio has golden brown spots.
  21. Let the patsitsio sit for 15 mintues before cutting. Then enjoy! We sure did.

Seriously this stuff is amazing. I think I like it better than Mr Steam’s lasagna. But lets just keep that between you and me mkay?

Inspiration:
Seemingly Greek

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About NotYourNormalSteam

I love to make things, food, paper, fabric, the medium doesn’t really matter. I am also an obsessive planner. The day after Christmas I am already working out plans for the next year.
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