Baked Meat Ratatouille

If you have some minced meat and some summer vegetables it is easy to make this baked meat ratatouille.

Having only some capsicum and carrot in the fridge I chose to add some potato slices to make the rounds of vegetables and meat. You could also add zucchini, eggplant and even steamed sweet potato slices into these rounds.

The meat patties are full of flavour with lots of fresh and dried herbs.

Even with these simple ingredients the meat and vegetables are really delicious when baked. The vegetables caramelise and continue to release their juices over the meat and potatoes. Nothing is wasted as the cooking liquor set aside from preparing the vegetables makes a lovely tasty jus to spoon over everything when serving.

Baked meat ratatouille makes a satisfying meal, full of flavour and colour, perfect for lunch or dinner.

Baked Meat Ratatouille

Ingredients:

  • 500 g minced beef, lamb or pork and veal as you may prefer
  • 4-5 medium potatoes,peeled and sliced across wise into 1cm thick rounds
  • 3 heaped Tblsp fresh breadcrumbs
  • 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • Small bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1 clove of garlic, grated
  • 20 leaves of fresh mint, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper  
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 Tblsp olive oil
  • 1 small knob of butter
  • 1 red capsicum, seeded and cut into thin strips
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1 medium onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 1 Tblsp tomato paste
  • McCormick Italian herbs
  • McCormick Sage
  • McCormick Chicken seasoning
  • 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock
  • Extra parsley, chopped finely

Method:

1. Peel and cut potatoes across wise into rounds about 1 cm thick

2. Place them into a steamer and cook for 20 mins

3. Remove the potato slices carefully to a plate and allow to cool

4. Prepare the meat patties by putting the mince into a large bowl

5. In a small bowl, place the fresh breadcrumbs and cover with milk. Allow to soak well then squeeze out the milk and add the moistened bread to the meat

6. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper

7. Add a good sprinkle of Chicken seasoning, Sage, Italian herbs, the chopped rosemary, chopped parsley and mint

8. Using your hands, mix meat, bread and herbs thoroughly till well combined

9. Make a well in the meat mixture and add the lightly beaten egg

10. Mix through well until it is all absorbed

11. Take heaped tablespoons of the meat mixture and form small balls then flatten them into patties and place them onto a plate.

12. Cover and Set aside in the fridge

13. In a large saucepan add the olive oil and the knob of butter

12. Heat on medium till the butter foams then add the sliced onions

13. Cook on medium low until the onions are transparent, about 7 minutes

14. Add the grated carrots and cook for 5 minutes

15. Stir in  the tomato paste and cook for a minute

16. Add the capsicum strips and stir through

17. Pour over the chicken stock and bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for about 8 minutes

18. Then remove vegetables to a plate and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Set the cooked vegetables and the cooking liquor aside

Assembling the Ratatouille:

19. Preheat oven to 220C Fan Forced and grease a round baking tin well on sides and bottom. (I have used a 20 x 5 cm baking tin) If you add extra vegetables to the rounds select a larger tin.

20. Remove the cooled meat slices from the fridge

21. Starting at the outer edge of the baking tin, place the meat slices alternately between the cooled potato slices

22. Continue till all the meat and potatoes are used, placing some in the centre of the pan and surrounding them with extra slices of potato till the tin is fully filled

23. Using a slotted spoon place the vegetables over all the meat and potatoes

24. Reserve the remaining vegetable liquid which has thickened to serve with the finished dish

25. Bake for 10 minutes then loosely cover with a sheet of foil

26. Continue to bake for a further 40-45 minutes or until the potatoes are tender

27. When fully cooked remove the baking tin from the oven and set aside for 10 minutes

28. Heat the vegetable liquid that was set aside and spoon over the meat and vegetables as you serve each dish

29. Serve with with some crusty bread and a green garden salad

Variations:

You can add slices of other summer vegetables like slices of egg plant,tomato or zucchini rounds. You could also steam circles of sweet potato to add to the rounds of meat and vegetables. You could also choose to put small zucchini sticks and other coloured capsicum strips into the vegetables that go over the top.

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