Meat and Matzoh Pie from Rhodes

Megina

The meat-filled version of a mina, a layered matzoh pie, is called a megina, and it is a specialty of Rhodes. This recipe is a composite of those from Gilda Angel, Nicholas Stavroulakis, and the authors of Sefarad Yemekleri. Occasionally, mashed potato is added to the ground meat filling, but the primary variables are the amounts of eggs and matzohs. I find the seasoning rather bland, so some cinnamon added to the meat would not be out of place. Serving the megina with tomato sauce or sautéed mushrooms would liven it up as well. Otherwise you may find it rather dry.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 8 or 9 eggs
  • ½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ cup chopped fresh dill
  • 8 to 10 matzohs, or enough to line the pan in 2 full layers

Method

Warm the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until tender and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the meat and cook, breaking it up, until well browned, about 15 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper and the cinnamon, if using, then remove from the heat. In a bowl, lightly whisk 4 or 5 of the eggs and fold into the meat mixture along with the parsley and dill.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Oil a 10-by-13-by-2-inch baking dish.

Select a shallow bowl large enough to hold about half the matzohs and fill with cold water. In a second shallow bowl of the same size, whisk 2 of the eggs until blended. Dip 4 or 5 matzohs in the water for about 3 minutes to soften, then drain well and dip them in the beaten eggs until the eggs are absorbed. Lay the matzohs on the bottom of the prepared baking dish, covering it completely. Top with the meat mixture. Whisk the remaining 2 or 3 eggs until blended, then soften the remaining 4 or 5 matzohs in the same way and dip them in the eggs until they absorb the eggs. Place the matzohs on top of the filling. Pour any remaining beaten egg over the top.

Bake the pie until golden, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes, then cut into squares and serve.