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Sunday, 28 August 2011

Mom's Roasto

I was raised with "roasto" in Lebanon. I am not sure what the roots of the word is (probably a mixture of Italian "arrosto" or the English roast). It is typically a round piece of "meat loaf" that is stove cooked and cut into circles.

Craving it, a 10-minute call to mom got me the recipe and the cooking instructions.

You start with extra lean ground beef that you sprinkle with salt and pepper and put through the food processor to get it into a lean texture.

Using wet hands, you spread it out into a very thin layer of meat that you then roll over.

According to mom, and my childhood memory, you can have it plain, or you can throw stuff on the spread before rolling. I remember ones with sliced garlic, sliced boiled eggs, pine nuts, etc. Be adventurous.

Heat up 1Tbsp vegetable oil in a large pot. Brown the rolls on low heat as you turn them around until brown on all sides.

Now add an inch of water, bay leaf, pepper, salt, cinnamon stick if you want. Cover and simmer until water evaporates (about 1 hour).

The nicest part of this meal is that you can make a couple of rolls in one cooking session, then freeze them. They freeze extremely well and come in handy on a busy work day or to slice and add to a vegetable stew.

Mom would have served it with french fries and salad. However, tonight it was served North American style with mashed potato and gravy.

Thank you Mom!

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