This is a layered baked dish of frozen artichoke bottoms, spiced ground beef, and tomatoes. I know of some people who get fresh artichokes, trim and de-choke, then get on to the recipe. However, when I get fresh artichokes, I prefer to steam them and eat them leaf by leaf . I am very happy to be able to use frozen artichoke bottoms for a dish like this.
This is the package of artichoke bottoms that I found in our local Middle Eastern grocery.
There are several ways you can prepare artichoke bottoms. Start with a layer of spiced ground beef or lamb. It can then be topped with a yogurt sauce, a béchamel sauce, or, as in this one, a tomato sauce. You could also steam them and chop them up for salads.
As I mention below in the recipe, you can boil the artichoke bottoms or you can fry them. Since this is prepared as a sort of msaka’a, I prefer to deep fry them, as you would the eggplant in the original.
We had his with rice, salad, and yogurt.
We found this tastes even better reheated.
Artichoke Msaka’a (Moussaka)
1 lb ground beef
4-6 cloves garlic
1 cup parsley
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
14 ounces frozen artichoke hearts
1 1/2 tomatoes, sliced or chopped
1 cup tomato puree
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 F.
In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, and parsley. Saute a few minutes until the onions begin to soften. Add spices. Stir to allow them to release their fragrance. Add ground beef, breaking it up as you brown it. Cook thoroughly.
For the artichokes – You can either boil them, or (what I did) deep fry them until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels.
Layer the artichokes in the bottom of a baking dish. Spread the ground beef over the artichokes. Some ground beef will fill the little artichoke heart cups, some will go around them – – that is okay. Add the sliced tomatoes evenly over the ground beef. Mix tomato puree, water, a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon allspice, paprika, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Spread on top of the tomatoes.
Cover with foil paper and bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes.
Uncover, and cook 10 minutes further.