I love to cook and trying out new recipes. I was recently set the challenge to prepare some Bulgarian food. I had a lot of fun, researching and coming up with new options of classic Bulgarian options, as I have never been specifically to Bulgaria.
A typical recipe is a Beef Moussaka but Bugarian’s tend to use yoghurt as a topping, compared to a white sauce or cheese. Here is a typical Bulgarian Moussaka recipe, with a little twist. Good and hearty comfort food – (it is hard to get a good picture of a moussaka… it tastes better than it looks haha).
Bulgarian Beef Moussaka
- 500g minced beef
- 1kg potatoes
- 1 medium onions
- 1 cup red pepper, finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, finely chopped
- 1 stick celery, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 medium tomato
- olive oil
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp mixed spice seasoning
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup yoghurt
- 1/4 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- grated cheese, optional
- Heat oil in a pan on a medium heat. Add chopped onions and fry for about 2 minutes. Add chopped carrots, celery and pepper, season with salt and fry until vegetables are tender. Add finely chopped tomato to the skillet and minced garlic, and cook for few minutes until it looks like sauce. Season with freshly ground pepper, paprika and spices, and stir well.
- Transfer vegetables to a plate. Add the minced beef to the skillet and cook for about 6 minutes until brown. Season with salt, pepper, paprika, summer savory & cumin. Break it up in small pieces with wooden spoon. Mix vegetables and beef together. Transfer to a casserole dish.
- In the same pan, heat oil and add the chopped tomatoes. Season with salt, paprika, freshly ground black pepper and spices. Let potatoes cook covered for about 10 minutes until slightly tender, and stir every couple minutes. When the potatoes are done, add them to the beef and vegetables mixture in the baking dish. Repeat with the second batch of potatoes.
- Pour 2 cups of water over the moussaka. (The water should not cover the potatoes, the water line should be just below them.)
- Place in a preheated 200°C oven and bake for about 50 minutes.
- About 10 minutes before moussaka is ready, prepare the topping. Beat 4 egg whites until fluffy. In a separate bowl beat 4 egg yolks and add 4 tbsp water. In a small bowl, combine 1 cup yogurt with ¼ cup milk, and add ½ tsp baking soda. Gently fold in egg yolks and egg whites. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spread over baked moussaka, top with grated cheese, if using, and bake for another 10 – 15 minutes.
I love to serve moussaka with a salad. The crisp and fresh veggies add such a lovely dynamic to the creamy moussaka. In Bulgaria, a salad you will often find there is a Shopska Salad. This isn’t too dissimilar to a typical greek salad. It consists of large tomatoes chopped into chunks, cucumber, roasted (or jarred) peppers, olives and feta.
For dessert, it would be rude not to, I altered a recipe I found online for an Almond & Peach tart. Using pre-made pastry it made it really quick to make – so delicious too!
When the tart was ready to go I brushed it with some apricot glaze, to add the lovely shine that you see on pastries. If you can’t find apricot glaze on the baking isle in your supermarket, just get some apricot jam and mix it with a little bit of water, until it is smooth. Works just as well!
Let me know if you try out these recipes – I hope you like them!
*collaboration with Expedia.