Recipes from Macedonia - Selsko Meso


Selsko Meso is one of those multi-meat dishes that we really don't do very often here in the US. It's pork, but it's also beef. It's chunks of meat, but it's also meatballs. And beef jerky. I know.

So when you're making this stuff, you do the meatballs first. In this version of the recipe (though it's always hard to tell because sometimes the translation is a little head-scratchy) you're supposed to put a little chunk of onion inside each meatball, which is a fun little surprise for the people eating it (especially my kids, evil laugh). Here's a photo of the onion-insertion process, which evidently is complicated enough to require a visual:
After you make the meatballs, put the rest of the onion into a food processor and turn it into a paste. Now fry up the pork until it starts to brown a little, and add the onion.

The recipe I was following said to use either tomatoes or ketchup, and come on, ketchup? I don't even use that with French fries. So I of course chose the tomatoes, but I made them kind of ketchupy by grinding them up like the onions. Then I added them to the pot with the mushrooms and the meatballs ...

... and ....
The beef jerky!! Now, you will see based on the recipe below, that it didn't actually specifically say "beef jerky," it said "smoked, dried meat." Which is beef jerky, right? But they probably don't call it that in Macedonia. Anyway, I just went out on a limb and interpreted it as the stuff I can easily find in any grocery store, although I admit to not using as much beef jerky as the recipe called for, because dang, beef jerky is expensive.

Anyway, then mix in an unspecified amount of salt, pepper and paprika. Mix together the flour and water and add that, then dump in a glass of white wine.

Traditionally, this stuff is made in a clay pot, so you know, if you have one you would be transferring everything to the pot at this point and baking it in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or so, or until it's bubbly. The mixture is really already cooked, so at this point you're just waiting for the flavors to incorporate.

Take it out of the oven and add the cream and feta cheese to taste.

Predictably, Martin and I liked the Selsko Meso. Thanks to the cream it was rich but not over-rich--still a bit much for me personally given how little cream I consume these days. My kids were like, "Mmm this is good," but then they didn't eat any of it. Their logic, of course, was that in making me believe they ate some of their dinner I would then be compelled to make sure they got dessert. Ha! Well, they did get dessert but it isn't because they fooled me into thinking that they ate their dinner.

And now for the recipe, in glorious readable, printable form:



Selsko Meso

from Macedonia Online

 
Selsko Meso: Meat stew with cream and tomatoes

Ingredients:

  • 10.5 oz ground beef
  • 1 onion
  • 2.2 lbs pork, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium tomatoes (or ketchup)
  • 24.5 oz mushrooms
  • 10.5 oz dry smoked meat, cut into small pieces
  • Salt, pepper and paprika to taste
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • Feta cheese
  • Cream

Instructions

  1. Cut part of the onion up into thumbnail-sized pieces. Make small meatballs with the ground beef, placing a piece of onion inside each one.
  2. Put the remaining onion into a food processor and grind into a paste.
  3. Heat the oil over a medium flame, then add the pork. Fry until it starts to brown.
  4. Add the ground onion and stir until translucent. Now add the tomatoes, the mushrooms, the smoked meat and the meatballs.
  5. Season with the salt, pepper and paprika.
  6. Dissolve the flour into the water, then add it to the pot. Add the glass of wine, then transfer the mixture into an oven-safe dish (this is traditionally a clay pot).
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes. The mixture is really already cooked, so at this point you're just waiting for the flavors to incorporate.
  8. Add cream and feta cheese to taste.
Approximate time: . Serves 8.



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