These Moroccan Beef Bundles elevate a pound of ground beef into gourmet fare. Combine store-bought Harissa sauce with yogurt and you have an easy flavourful sauce. Harissa sauce is a spicy chile paste from North Africa. You can find it in the international aisle of the supermarket, gourmet food shops or Middle Eastern markets.
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp. fresh chopped ginger
¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cumin seeds, toasted and ground
½ cup jarred tomato puree
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
3 tbsp. chopped fresh mint
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 package phyllo pastry
½ cup extra virgin olive oil or melted butter, for brushing phyllo pastry
1 cup plain yogurt
3 tbsp. harissa sauce, store-bought or homemade
In a large fry pan, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil over medium high heat. When oil is hot, add ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Cook ground beef until well browned, about 7 to 10 minutes. Add onions, garlic and ginger, cinnamon and cumin and continue to cook until onions have softened and mixture is fragrant, about 3 to 5 minutes more. Add the tomato puree and continue to cook until moisture from the tomato puree has evaporated and mixture looks dry, about 10 minutes more. Stir in the parsley and mint. Remove mixture from heat and let cool.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut phyllo sheets into 4-inch squares and brush each square lightly with olive oil or melted butter. Place 6 squares of phyllo into each muffin cup, overlapping each layer. Spoon 2 ½ tbsp. the beef mixture into each of the phyllo cups and then carefully pleat the phyllo bundle closed. Brush tops with more olive oil or melted butter.
Bake bundles until pastry is golden brown and filling is hot, about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir together yogurt and harissa sauce and serve with bundles.
Yield: 12 servings.