Douzma, A Very Special Meat and Vegetable Casserole

With Christmas only a week away, I felt it appropriate to make douzma again, that wonderful, wintery, Armenian (Dikranagerdtsi) comfort food. ‘Douzma”, you might recall from a previous post, means “lined up” or “alternating”, which indicates how the ingredients are assembled in the baking pan.

Feel free to view our douzma video for some helpful tips!

 

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Douzma

A comforting, wintery baked casserole with hearty vegetable and meat patties in a tomato sauce.
Course Main Course
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground lamb, beef or turkey
  • 2 medium zucchinis cut into 1/4 inch circles – or – 1 medium eggplant, sliced in half lengthwise, then into 1/4 in. slices – or- both!
  • 2 medium starchy baking potatoes partially cooked, peeled and sliced into about 1/4 in. slices
  • Sliced tomatoes as many as will fit in between above ingredients- about 2 medium
  • salt, pepper and allspice to taste
  • 6 oz canned tomato paste diluted in about 1 to 1-1/2 cups water; seasoned with additional salt, pepper and allspice to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Mix meat with salt, pepper, allspice, and a little tomato paste, until well-combined. Form meat into 12 patties, about ½ inch thick.
  • Dilute remaining tomato paste with 1 to 1-1/2 cups water, season with additional salt, pepper, and allspice, if desired. Pour a little sauce onto the bottom of the baking pan and spread to cover.
  • Arrange all of the above vegetables, and meat patties alternately, in a standing position in a large roasting pan (approx. 9“x 13“), until all of the ingredients are used.
  • Pour the remaining sauce over the meat and vegetables.
  • Bake, uncovered for about 1 to 1-1/2 hours, or until vegetables are tender and top is lightly browned.

Video

Notes

Cutting the vegetables to the same thickness and similar size, plus partially cooking the potatoes in advance, assures even baking and helps decrease the baking time. 
 

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