The last week has been a hectic one for a couple of reasons and as such has called for some quick, no-frills, family meals. Having made more than my fair share of saucy tomato-based dishes the last month (many of which I have yet to post), the night before found me wanting to use the ground beef I'd defrosted to make a fresh, simple and flavorful dish without employing even a tinge of chopped tomatoes, strained tomatoes, tomato paste or the like. After mentioning my ground beef "dilemma" to Peter of Kalofagas that evening, he quickly started sounding off some ideas--all of which were tempting, some with tomato (ugh!) and some without. And then he said, "What about biftekia gemista?" And I thought, "Why not?"
I served these biftekia with some sauteed spinach and a warm potato salad (as opposed to oven roasted potatoes or fries) and we had a fresh tasting, quick and healthy meal on our table in just minutes.
Biftekia Gemista--Stuffed Beef "Burgers"
Makes 12 patties
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Add the trahanas to a small bowl and pour the milk over (use a bit more milk if all the trahanas isn't moistened by the 4 tablespoons). Set aside.
Combine the beef with the scallions, onion, parsley, cilantro, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil and the trahanas soaked in milk. Mix briefly with hands to incorporate and place in the refrigerator until your grill pan is heated through.
Heat a stovetop grill pan, or a large skillet, over high heat. Begin forming the beef mixture into patties. Holding a patty flat in the palm of your hand, press a small cube of feta and kasseri down into the center, then begin to pinch the beef up around the cheese to seal it in. Pat the beef to even it out and place in the heated grill pan to brown each side well (about 3 to 5 minutes per side). Once the biftekia are well browned, place the grill pan in the heated oven and cook the biftekia another 10 minutes.
Serve hot with a warm potato salad and some sauteed spinach.
Warm Potato Salad