Wednesday, February 25, 2015

International Cooking Challenge: Bosnia - Bosnian Musaka

For our third foray into our International Cooking Challenge, we visited Bosnia at the dinner table.

The Boy happens to have two classmates from Bosnia, so he was particularly excited for this dinner.

He helped to pick out the recipe - a Serbian/Bosnian Musaka.  Unlike the traditional Greek Moussaka. which has layers of eggplant, Bosnian musaka is layers of potatoes with ground beef and onions.

We listened to some traditional Bosnian music (by Nada Mamula) on Spotify while cooking, and the kids enjoyed that. We read some facts about Bosnia on Wikipedia.

The only thing I can say about this recipe is that I made it in a springform pan... don't make it in a springform pan.  It overflowed and I managed to smoke out the kitchen.  Some of the milk leaked out.  This could have been better in a plain casserole.  I just wanted to make pretty layers.  Foolish idea.  It is too cold to open the windows.  We are just suffering through it.

Although from my reading, vegetables aren't huge in Bosnian cuisine, I had to add something bright to this meat and potatoes meal.  I made some sauteed cherry tomatoes.

This was a winning recipe all around.  It will be made again... in a casserole pan.

Bosnian Musaka
(modified from

1 large onion
1 1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
10 Tbsp canola oil (divided)
3 lb yellow potatoes, peeled
1/2 c water
3 eggs
1 1/2 c evaporated milk
1/2 c milk

Preheat oven to 475 F.

Heat 5 Tbsp oil in a saute pan. Add diced onion and saute for about 5 minutes until softened.  Add ground beef and cook until browned.  Season with salt and pepper.

Layered on top of the bottom potatoes

Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, slice the potatoes into uniform 1/6" thick slices.  Layer half of the potatoes on the bottom of a casserole pan - this was about 3 layers of potatoes (note: do not use a springform pan!  I did, and it overflowed in the oven and made a big mess and smoked everything up... oops).  Add the ground beef mixture evenly.

Top layer of potatoes

Top with remaining potatoes, layered as before.  Brush the top the potatoes with remaining oil, then pour the water on top.  Bake for 30 minutes, or until potatoes begin to get tender.

Whisk together the milk and eggs.  Pour on top of the potatoes in the casserole dish and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, or until the top gets browned.  Slice when slightly cool and enjoy.

(Or, in my case, enjoy when the smoke clears)

Bosnian Musaka, a small apple, and some yogurt stars for my unch
As in previous nights, leftovers make an excellent lunch for me for the next day, packed in my Easylunchbox.

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