Food

ROSS IL-FORN (MALTESE BAKED RICE)

Date: 04 Oct 2014 Author: Jacqui Categories: Food, International Cuisine, Main Dishes Comments

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This is truly a favorite Maltese Dish, and not just mine!  I used to love this when mum used to make it. Haha, I can still hear my Dad grumbling as he used to say it never comes out the same each time she made it.  But whichever way it came, I always loved it!  Always tasted sooo good to me ! What he probably meant was that sometimes she might have cooked the rice a bit longer so it would come mushier since it keeps cooking in the oven.  So if you do not like it that way, do make sure you leave it quite firm when boiling the rice. This is my recipe, very similar to the traditional one.

Ingredients

 (Serves 2-3)

  • 300 gr minced beef
  • 300 gr long grain rice
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1tsp GF chicken, beef or vegetable stock powder
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1tsp mixed Italian Herbs
  • Chilli Flakes (optional)
  • 1 tsp curry
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce (make sure you use Gluten Free)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 100g mozzarella, cubed (optional)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Freshly chopped parsley
  • Butter

Method


Sauté the onions and garlic in a little olive oil.  Add the minced meat and cook until browned.  Add the spices, stirring and combining with the meat.  Pour in the wine and stir until it is absorbed.  Add the tomato puree, the Worcestershire Sauce, the crushed tomatoes, stock powder, sugar, bay leaves, Chilli if using and herbs. Add the water and bring to a boil. Season with salt & pepper. Lower the heat and leave to simmer until sauce thickens slightly.

In the meantime, boil the rice, but leave it al dente as it will continue cooking in the oven.  Drain the rice and put it back in the pan.  Add the meat sauce to the rice and mix in half a cup of the Parmesan cheese, the mozzarella cubes if using, the beaten egg and the chopped parsley. Combine well. Pour the rice mixture into a greased ovenproof dish.

Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over the top followed by some knobs of butter.  Cook in a preheated oven at 200 C until the top starts to brown and looks crunchy.

Note – Some like to add peas to Ross il Forn. You can add 3/4 cup of frozen peas to the sauce whilst it is simmering.