Monday, March 03, 2008

Buckwheat Kasha with Mince

Following from yesterday's buckwheat theme, here's another recent buckwheat dish we recently enjoyed. We do love buckwheat kasha or porridge as it is, and eat it occasionally as a side dish to some grilled pork. But sometimes it's nice to spice it up with a little extra. Adding pork or beef mince to the kasha is one way of making a humble side dish into a delicious main course.

Note that buckwheat is naturally gluten-free, so it's a suitable and tasty grain alternative to all those who need to avoid gluten.

Buckwheat Kasha with Mince
(Tatrapuder hakklihaga)
Serves 6

250 g mince (I used a mixture of pork and beef)
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
400 g buckwheat groats
oil for frying
1 litre of water, boiling
freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil on a frying pan over high heat, add the mince and brown, stirring every now and then.
Reduce the heat to moderate, add the carrot and onions, season with salt and pepper
and cook for 5 minutes to slighly soften the onions.
Heat some oil in a large heavy saucepan, add the buckwheat groats and toast them for about 5 minutes, stirring to coat and toast evenly.
Add the fried meat and onion mixture to the buckwheat groats, give it a stir and pour over the boiling water.
Cover the saucepan and simmer on a low heat for 30-40 minutes, until buckwheat groats are soft.
Serve hot with sliced pickled cucumbers and cold horseradish and sour cream sauce*.

* To make the cold horseradish sauce grate some fresh horseradish, add enough sour cream to achieve the consistency and potency you like and season with salt.

LEFTOVERS? No worries - simply heat the cold buckwheat kasha in some oil or butter on the following day.


karolcia said...

I don't eat meat, but I really like buckwheat kasha too. It's so healthy and tastes really good:)

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

For all the years I've been making kasha, as a side dish or with noodles as a main dish, I've never cooked it with meat. Now I wonder why not -- this looks delicious.

Kristopher said...

I have usually used buckwheat as a meat substitute, but why not indeed.

When I don't do a "grechka" with onions and mushrooms, I've made a kind of mildly sweet pilaf with buckwheat, usually for breakfast, with raisins and chopped nuts with cinnamon.

Now I'm wondering whether that would taste good with ground lamb, maybe some shredded carrots.

Meeta said...

I love the idea of adding meat to the kasha. I often make it with onions and veggies but I like Kristopher's idea with ground lamb!

Mariajaan said...

One of the many porridges that I tried first when I arrived to Estonia. And certainly the first I grew to LOVE (working hard with liking manna (?)). It is versatile, and easy to prepare, available even in Colombia, which I was very surprised about since we are too concentrated on corn. In Spanish, just in case, the name is trigo sarraceno.

Mariajaan said...

Sorry! One of the first, uff, I have a bad English day today!

Wendy said...

It looks just like haggis! Intrigued by this. Must look out for buckwheat groats...

Sophie said...

Interesting! I've never tried this before but it looks just like a dish I used to buy ages ago ready made but had no idea what was in it - maybe it was kasha.

My first thought was the same as Wendy's - haggis!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

That would be perfect for the left over pork loin in the fridge! Unfortunately I have no kasha in the what poor planning on my pantry's part.

joey said...

I have seen buckwheat at a healthfood store here...I'll give it a try! :)

Annemarie said...

I always default to cous cous or rice when I need something to accompany meat, but I really ought to think of buckwheat more. Thanks for the reminder, Pille.

maybellesmom said...

I think i might make this with tofu this weekend. I have everything, including horseradish. will keep you posted.

keelek6rv said...

väga vahva blogi! olen muidugi vist viimane eestlane, kes selle avastas, aga noh, parem hilja kui.. :)

tegelikult mul on hoopis keeleküsimus - nimelt, kas kasha on tõesti ingliskeelsele kultuuri- ja muidu-ruumile täiesti arusaadav termin (siinsetele kommenteerijatele küll..)? miks mitte porridge? ma ise olen tihti kogenud, et kui ma räägin pudrust/porridge'ist, ei saa välismaalased tihti üldse aru, misasi see on.. aga praegu ei leidnud ühestki inglise-eesti online-sõnastikust ka seda kashat..

Anonymous said...

This mixture is an old family favourite actually - my mother used it in cabbage rolls and also in pirogi. Good either with mince or without - I have never understood why buckwheat is so little used. regards from edella in the UK

Jeanne said...

I've never cooked with buckwheat but this looks delicious! Fantastic photo too - I love that plate...

Kristopher said...

Keelekõrv -- yes, the term "kasha" is fairly well recognized.

But it only refers to the roasted buckwheat (the only kind that is widely available in Estonia, whereas I have usually seen untoasted buckwheat in US health food stores).

There is also a cold cereal in a box called Kashi, which contains buckwheat, but the etymology of that is not from the word kasha.

catch_a_glimpse said...

Althought i prefer buckwheat porridge wuthout meat, thats sounds and look delicious.

I just accidentaly pop into your blog (was looking for buckwheat translation in english) but got hooked as its quite fun to compare estonian kitchen with lithuanian one. They are so different, but have loads of similarities at the same time ( especially noticable when i missing home-made lithuanian food) if compare with lets say with french or british kitchens (i work in UK french cuisine restaurant). In shorter - cool blog ;)

Pille said...

Karolcia – well, you can always leave out the meat, or then try my mushroom version.

Lydia – buckwheat with noodles?

Kristopher – ground lamb, shredded carrots and buckwheat - sounds good!

Meeta – I like Kristopher’s idea, too :)

MariaJaan – I love manna porridge – K. makes a very nice version.

Wendy – that’s hilarious – I never thought of that. But you’re right – it’s a haggis lookalike indeed!

Sophie – lol at haggis :)

Tanna – what, no buckwheat??? (I was upset the other day to discover that I was out of wasabi paste – another kitchen essential of mine. I didn’t even check before deciding on the menu, I simply assumed it’s there, as always).

Joey – yes, in Scotland I bought buckwheat in health food stores.

Annemarie – my recent favourite is quinoa (instead of rice or couscous). Have you tried this? And yes, buckwheat, of course..

MaybellesMom – so, how did it go?

Keelekõrv – parem hilja kui mitte kunagi :) Aga jah, kasha on tõesti ingliskeelses kultuuriruumis (eriti USAs) täitsa tunnustatud termin putrude, eriti tatrapudru kohta.

Edella – interesting idea to use this as a stuffing for cabbage rolls. We usually use meat or mushrooms alone, or then meat and rice (see here for my cabbage roll recipe).

Jeanne – it’s not a common ingredient in the UK, so I forgive you.

Kristopher – thanks for the explanation.

Catch A Glimpse – I imagine that Latvian, Estonian and Lithuanian kitchens have a lot in common – but then each is still distinguishable. I find the same when comparing Estonian-Finnish-Swedish-Danish dishes – very similar, yet slightly different. When I was exchange student in Denmark many, many years ago, my Danish classmates were very disappointed to learn that we ate potatoes, meatballs and liver pate in Estonia – they thought these were ‘very’ Danish.

Maggie said...

I love buckwheat and I was looking for a new recipe for grouts. I'm going to try this tomorrow.

Pille said...

Maggie - what did you think of it?