Egg Calamari With Ground Beef

Egg Calamari with Ground Beef (Avgokalamara)
It’s not what you think!
 

“The French have their crepes and we have OURS” Ms. Eirini proudly and emphatically broadcasted to me as well as to the rest of the ferry goers sitting nearby.
I met Ms. Eirini on the way to my first ever visit to Chios Island and I was super excited that I’d already jotted down an old village recipe.
Initially the name confused me. You see, the Greek title of this dish is ‘avgo’ (egg) ‘kalamara’ (calamari). In other words, Egg & Calamari.
As the Chios villager came to the end of reciting the list of ingredients, I asked “What about the Calamari??” “What Calamari?” she asked looking just as confused as me “Oh no, there’s no Calamari in this recipe. We just call it that because the end result takes on the shape of a calamari.” “Oh.. I see..so it’s basically a mix between an omelette and a crepe filled with ground meat.” “Yes, and it’s BETTER than the French one!” she once more shouts out making sure all the passengers hear this time.
Two years later I decided to make it. Now I know why she so wanted the world to know about these ‘better than the French ones’ crepes.

4-5 servings
 

Ingredients for filling

 

  • 400g ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions finely sliced
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup grated kefalograviera cheese (you can substitute with pecorino cheese)
  • 2 tablespoons rice (optional)
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 cup vegetable stock

 

Ingredients for the omelette

  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2-3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Salt & pepper
  •  Olive oil or butter for pan

Method for filling

  • Pour a little olive oil into pan and heat
  • Add ground beef and onion. Saute
  • Sprinkle with nutmeg, salt & pepper
  • Once the meat has turned brown, add the vegetable stock and cinnamon stick
  • Bring to a boil, turn down heat, and let it simmer for 10 minutes
  • Add rice and keep simmering until rice has softened (add a little water if it dries up in order for the rice to cook through)
  • Once rice is cooked, take off heat and set aside
  • In a small bowl, beat the egg and add the grated cheese (save some cheese for later)
  • When the beef mixture has cooled down, take out cinnamon stick and stir in the egg & cheese mixture

Method for omelette

  • Lightly beat the eggs with milk
  • Add the flour and keep beating until it has a slightly thick consistency
  • Season with salt & pepper
  • On medium heat, add either a knob of butter or olive oil in an 18 or 20 cm (7-8 inch) non-stick frying pan
  • Pour, into the pan, just enough egg mixture to make a thin (think crepe) omelette
  • Once the egg mixture starts thickening on bottom, carefully make some holes in it with a fork (you won’t be needing to flip it over)
  • With a spatula check the bottom of the omelette
  • Once the bottom is slightly brown and top is still a little runny (you don’t want the top bit completely dry) remove omelette from pan
  • Take a heaped tablespoon of the ground beef and place down the centre of omelette
  • Roll up
  • Continue same procedure with remaining egg mixture
  • Once all omelettes are ready, place in an oven dish
  • Sprinkle with some cheese and place in oven until cheese has melted and slightly browned