This dish is Russia’s version of Shepherd’s Pie.. The potato Zapekanka is basically a potato casserole with minced meat (beef) in between 2 layers of mashed potatoes or round sliced potatoes..
In Russia people get introduced to this dish from when they are kids.. Traditionally their potato casserole is done with round potato slices however in modern Russian cuisine the recipe often times is baked with mashed potatoes.
Their version of a potato casserole is usually paired with sour cream which adds that extra heartiness to the dish. It’s a tasty, satisfying dish that is rewarding. This potato casserole recipe is fairly easy to make and is a guaranteed pleaser on family get together nights or even holidays.
Toppings Optional (Chopped Scallions, Sour Cream, or Parsley)
How To Make This Potato Casserole
1. Start by peeling the potatoes then cutting them in half and place them in a pot to boil… Add water and a tablespoon of salt. Boil the potatoes until they are soft and tender until ready to be mashed.
2. Meanwhile you can start by preparing the meat.. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil into a frying pan on high heat.. Then add the chopped onions, stir a little until they caramelized then add the ground beef. Stir the onions and the ground beef for about two minutes.
3. Now set on low heat and cover with a lid for 5 minutes or until the meat is brown.
4. Remove the lid from the pan and season with ground coriander, red pepper, black pepper and 2 pinches of salt. Stir well until all ingredients are blended. Then place the lid back on the frying pan for another 10 minutes. (Always on low heat)
5. After 10 minutes remove the lid once again and add fresh parsley and chopped dill and stir for about a minute. The meat filling for the casserole is done. Time to mash and prepare the potatoes.
6. Drain the water from the pot with the potatoes add butter and start mashing the potatoes.. Then add one egg and 50 ml of milk and continue mashing until slightly creamy..
7. Take a baking pan and butter it lightly then add the bottom layer of mashed potatoes.
8. Then add the meat.
9. Finally, add the top layer with more mashed potatoes, flatten the top to even it out.. Then glaze it with a little butter. Place in the oven at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
10. After 30 minutes, take it out of the oven and let settle for 5 minutes at room temperature. Cut in cubes to serve.. You can top in with chopped scallions, or parsley.. They also serve these potato casserole pieces with sour cream on the side. Congratulations! .. Enjoy this great Russian dish with family and friends.
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