Monday, January 9, 2012

Ground meat treats: Beef and bison meatza

At the time of this writing, there was no Wikipedia article for the term “meatza”, which surprised me a bit given the number of recipes on the web. In fact, I could not find anything concrete about the dish’s tradition or  history.

Another thing that surprised me about this dish is how much my family and I like it. It has become a regular weekend treat for us for quite some time now.

The recipe below is for a meal that feeds 4-8 people. Like in my previous recipe for a zucchini and onion meatloaf (), the ground beef used here has little fat, and thus a relatively low omega-6 content. Most of the fat comes from the ground bison, which has a higher omega-3 to omega-6 ratio.

- Prepare some dry seasoning powder by mixing sea salt, parsley flakes, garlic powder, chili powder, and a small amount of cayenne pepper.
- Mix 2 lb of very lean ground beef (96/4) with 1 lb of ground bison.
- Add the dry seasoning and a whole egg to the ground meat mix.
- Vigorously mix by hand until you get a homogeneous look.
- Place the mix into a sheet pan coated with olive oil. Richard’s suggestion of creating edges helps keep the sautéed vegetables on top, when they are added later ().
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bake the meatza for about 15 minutes.
- Grate 1 lb of aged cheese.
- Slice one tomato, half an onion, and one green bell pepper, and sauté them in olive oil.
- Drain the meatza after if comes out of the oven, and add the sautéed vegetables to the top, together with half a can of tomato sauce.
- Add the 1 lb of grated aged cheese on top of the vegetables and tomato sauce.
- Return meatza to the oven, still at 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and bake it for about 10 minutes.

The photo montage above shows a side dish of baked potatoes and zucchini. That is optional, as the meatza has vegetables added to it. I usually cut the meatza into 8 rectangular pieces. Each rectangle will have about 50 g of protein and 20 g of fat. The fat will be primarily saturated and monounsaturated (both healthy), with a good balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fats. Each piece of meatza will also be a good source of vitamins B12 and B6, niacin, calcium, zinc, selenium, and phosphorus.