At the moment our silverbeet is growing with wild abandon. I have become a little tired of serving it steamed, in cheese sauce, sauteed with bacon, so decided to invent other ways of cooking it. For this recipe it doesn’t matter if the leaves are less than perfect – when they are organically home grown they often aren’t, and we are told that we should expect slight imperfections with some produce that we might buy at markets due to the recent floods.
I have to say that the following recipe is one of the most delicious I have ever made. In analysing this, I think it’s because the silverbeet leaves make the meat mixture moist, and the silverbeet takes on the flavour of the mince filling. Whatever the reason, this recipe is well worth the minimal effort of making it. As there are only two of us now left at home, I inevitably had enough leftover for the next day. Not all things reheat well, but this one was even more delicious second time round.
8 large silverbeet or spinach leaves (or 10 to 12 slightly smaller)
1 onion, peeled and finely grated
500g good quality beef mince
½ cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 teaspoons soy sauce
3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons chutney
3 teaspoons tomato sauce
¼ cup diced dried apricots
2 tablespoons chopped pine nuts
1 tablespoons chopped fresh sage or ¼ teaspoons dried
¾ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
500ml tomato puree
2 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ teaspoon brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt, extra
Wash the silverbeet leaves and remove stalk sections. Place in a large saucepan with 2 tablespoon water, bring to the boil, place lid on pot and cook 2 minutes, drain and cool.
Meanwhile mix together the onion, mince, breadcrumbs, egg, sauces, chutney, apricots, pine nuts, sage and the ¾ teaspoon salt. Combine thoroughly.
Cut the silverbeet leaves in half if they are very large. Divide the meat mixture into the number of portions to match the silverbeet sections. Wrap each portion of meat in a silverbeet leaf section to enclose. Pour oil into a 20cm frying pan and place parcels into this. Place over low heat while preparing the sauce.
Mix together the tomato puree, tomato paste, sugar and extra salt and pour over the parcels. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes. Remove lid and spoon the sauce over the parcels, increase heat and cook for about 5 minutes until the sauce is reduced by about half, continuing to spoon it over the parcels from time to time.
Serve topped with shaved parmesan if liked and with salad or seasonal vegetables.