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  • The dish:
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and boiled
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 800 g of ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 cup of shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Bechamel sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • Bechamel sauce:
  • 5 tablespoons of butter
  • 4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups of milk
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of nutmeg
Make a basic Bechamel sauce first for use later in the recipe!
Get a medium saucepan and melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add in flour and stir it all up until it gets smooth. Keep cooking your mixture until it all turns a light golden color, for about six or seven minutes.
In the meantime, heat the milk in a separate pan until it’s almost at a boil. Once it’s hot enough, gradually add your hot milk one cup at a time to the butter, continually whisking the entire time until it’s smooth. Once all the milk is incorporated, bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes, stirring it constantly. Season it at the end with salt and nutmeg.
Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Mix the beef along with the chopped onion, parsley, paprika and a little bit of salt and pepper in a large bowl until they’re evenly combined.
Peel 4 potatoes and boil them until they’re semi-soft, around seven minutes. Once they’re ready, take them out and chop them into slices, arranging them around the bottom of a round glass baking dish. Lay one layer flat on the bottom and arrange another layer around the sides as well. Keep some slices on the side,
Form meat balls with the meat mixture and arrange them on your slices of potato that you laid out earlier.
Use your remaining slices of potato to put walls between the meatballs so each one has its own compartment. Pour the Bechamel sauce into each one of the “compartments” until it’s relatively full and top the entire dish with a thin layer of shredded Cheddar cheese.
Put the dish in the preheated oven for approximately 40 minutes until the sauce is set and the cheese melted. Once it’s done, you’ll have a deliciously cheesy and creamy French casserole-style dish that the whole family will love!

Recipe posted by Adam Cloete
Photo: Adam Cloete

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