Lake Võrtsjärv is Estonia’s second largest lake, named for the plentiful reeds (võrrits) growing on its shores. This local, dairy-based casserole is simple comfort food that is hearty and filling. Leftovers such as ground meat or suitsukala (smoked fish) are re-purposed to create this tasty dish. Estonians are heavy on pickles. In this dish, pickled beets help to cut through a rich mouthfeel. Recipe Servings: Serves 4
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
- 2 Tbsp (30 g) butter
- 2 cups (480 g) squash, chopped
- 2 cups (480 g) ground meat
- 1 Tbsp (15 g) red onion, chopped
- 1 cup (240 ml) tomato sauce
- 1 Tbsp (15 g) green herbs (basil, chives, green onion), chopped
- 1/2 tsp (2.5 g) salt
- 1/2 tsp (2.5 g) pepper
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup (240 ml) milk
- 1/4 cup (60 g) pickled beets, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Grease a large casserole dish with butter.
- Layer on squash, then ground meat and onion.
- Mix tomato sauce with herbs, salt and pepper. Pour over squash and meat.
- In a medium mixing bowl, beat eggs, add milk and mix well.
- Pour into casserole, adding more milk if needed until squash is covered.
- Cover and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Turn off heat, and let casserole continue to cook without lifting off cover for 10 minutes .
- Garnish with pickled beets to serve.
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