Traditional Beef Stuffed Courgettes
The following recipe which is called “kolokithakia gemista” (beef stuffed courgettes) In Greece was the one that made me appreciate the egg lemon sauce when I was young. I guess without that is a completely different dish.
Stuffed courgettes is a traditional greek food that you can find in many variations also in turkey, and middle eastern countries. As this part of the world really likes to stuff vegetables and cook them, this dish couldn’t be missing from a greek food menu.
Obviously through time there are many variations that you can find and are all legitimate. The following though is the one that I remember from the time my mother and my grandmother was cooking that for me.
One thing that you need to remember for this food is that you need to have medium sized courgettes and a tool to remove the flesh of the vegetable.
INGREDIENTS FOR STUFFED COURGETTES
- 8-10 medium courgettes
- 1 big red onion chopped
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 carrots
- 2-3 teaspoons of olive oil
- 500gr of beef minced meat
- 1 glass of white wine
- 200gr of white rice
- 1/2 bunch of parsley
- 1/2 bunch of dill
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- Salt/pepper/ 800gr of water
- 2 eggs
- Juice from two lemons
Wash really well the courgettes and cut the hard edges. Open them up from one side slicing one part and remove slowly the flesh with a spoon or a similar tool . Then take the flesh and chopped it or put it in a blender even better as we are going to use it. We don’t throw anything!
Chop the onions, garlic, the carrots (really small pieces) and get ready our pan.
In a pan we add some olive oil and place it in medium hit. Add the onions, garlic and carrots and saute them for 3-4 minutes with a wooden spoon and then add the flesh from the courgettes.
Now it’s the time to add the minced meat and we let him saute and mix with the vegetables. Add, salt and pepper and continue to stir for couple of minutes. Pour the wine and let it slowly to dry.
Add the rice and all of our chopped herbs and water to cover them all – just. Keep it for couple of minutes and then remove it from the fire.
With a spoon we add rice to each of the courgette, but only up to 3/4. You have to remember that the rice will increase in size and burst.
Now in a deep and big pot we add the olive oil and place them all the courgettes side by side. Add water to the 3/4 of the pot -making sure it covers all of the vegetables. Boil them for 45 minutes until the rice is cooked and our courgettes are soft enough that can be pinched with a fork.
Just a little bit before the end you need to prepare the egg-lemon sauce. In a small pot, break the two eggs and add juice from one lemon and start hitting them. As you do slowly add 3-4 spoons from the juice of our food with the courgettes while you keep hitting the eggs to not clot. In the end when the egglemon sauce is thick and nice (more information here) then we add it to the pot with our courgettes and remove it from the fire in the same time.
Let it cool of 4-5 minutes and serve immediately! Enjoy! :|)