Spicy Meat Sauce

Use with pasta, or as topping for flattened dough, to make Lachmacun. You can halve the recipe, but since the work involved in making the sauce is the same, I suggest you make the full recipe, use as much as you need, and freeze the rest, to have ready for any kind of dish you would like to make later.

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Makes 8 cups Meat Sauce


½ cup olive oil


2 large onions (about 400 grams) finely chopped or ground in the blender


½ cup white wine or water


2 pounds mostly lean ground beef


2 ½ cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen – thawed)


4 large garlic cloves, peeled and sliced


2 teaspoons salt, or more, to taste


4 tablespoons tomato paste


1 teaspoon allspice


1 teaspoon cumin


2 tablespoons turmeric


4-5 teaspoons Maras or Aleppo pepper flakes, or more to taste


3-4 bay leaves (Mediterranean)


1 cup sweet wine, such as Mavrodaphne or Madeira


3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, to taste


1/3 cup chopped fresh thyme, or more, to taste


Warm the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet and sauté the onions, stirring often for 4 minutes. Pour in the white wine or water, toss and cook for another 4-5 minutes until soft and almost dry.


Add the meat, and cook, stirring often to sauté, until no longer pink. Add the tomato paste and stir to mix.


In a blender mush the corn with the garlic and add to the meat in the skillet, together with the salt, the allspice, cumin, turmeric, Maras pepper and bay leaves. Stir well to mix, add the wine and bring to a boil. Toss, add 3 tablespoons lemon juice, stir and taste, to correct the seasoning. Turn off the heat, cover and let simmer 8-10 minutes, until almost dry. Add the thyme, stir and divide the sauce, using as much as you need, and after cooling the rest, cover and refrigerate or freeze, for later use.


Keeps 5-6 days in the refrigerator and up to 6 months in the freezer.






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