Greek Crepe Cannelloni Stuffed with Beef

Yesterday, I left you all with a teaser about good things to come.  I knew this dish was going to take a lot of prep time, and that it was a 3-step process.  What I did not realize was how long it was going to take.   Total cooking time was about 3-3 1/2 hours.  But it was all a labor of love, as are so many wonderful dishes, especially a lot of ethnic dishes.  I enjoyed all the steps and the processes to make this dish, and I know we are all going to enjoy the finished result.  Normally, I do do not show you unfinished dishes, however, I made this one ahead of time, for an a fun get together with friends tomorrow.  I have everything completed except the final baking.  You’ll just have to use your imagination a bit on this one, but I promise you, it will not be too much of a stretch.  🙂  The only thing you will not see is the browning of the cheese and the sauce.

This is a long post, with a lot of details.  Have patience and continue to the end.  The result is well worth the read and the wait.  I promise, you will not be disappointed.

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Stuffed Crepe Cannelloni with Beef

  • First Step – Making the Kimas or Meat Sauce

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1 large onion, diced fine

salt & pepper to taste

1 1/2-2 lbs ground beef

1/2 cup dry white wine

6 medium tomatoes, diced small

1 1/2-2 tsp sugar

2 bay leaves

1-1 1/2 tsp allspice

1-2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

2 TBSP garlic

3 cups chicken or beef stock

olive oil

 

Saute the onions, salt and sugar in the olive oil, stirring frequently.  Just as the onions start to caramelize and turn color, add the ground beef and continue cooking until the beef is cooked.

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Once the beef and onions are cooked, add the wine.  Let all the liquid from the wine cook off completely.  This will help reduce the acidity of the dish.

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Once all the wine is cooked off, add the diced tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients.

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Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and continue to cook for 45-60 minutes, or until the sauce is rich and thick and all the liquid has been cooked off.

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This sauce is a very versatile sauce and is used for many different Greek dishes.  Once the sauce is cooked, remove the bay leaves and discard.  This sauce is so rich and aromatic.  Your whole house will be filled with the delightful aromas of the spices for the rest of the day.  I had a little leftover rice that I added to the meat mixture as well, to give a little more texture, since I am using it as a filling.

 

  • Second Step – The Crepes

3 large eggs

3/4 cup flour

1 1/2 cups milk

salt & pepper to taste

1 tsp ground nutmeg

2-3 TBSP melted butter

olive oil for cooking

 

Whisk the eggs and the flour together, then slowly incorporate the milk and seasonings.   Add the melted butter and mix well.  Let the batter set in the refrigerator for about an hour before making the crepes.

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Once the batter is ready, get a small, 6″ skillet very hot, then brush it with olive oil.  Add a small amount of the batter to the skillet and immediately swirl it around to fill the space of the skillet.  Pour off the excess.  Cook for about 30-60 seconds, then gently scrape the edges with a spoon and gently flip the crepe over with a spatula.  You want very thin crepes, so you will only use a small amount of batter for each crepe.

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Repeat the process until all the batter has been used.  I doubled the recipe, and I made 20 crepes.

Once all the crepes are cooked, it is time to fill them with the kimas or the meat sauce.

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Add 1 heaping TBSP of meat mixture to the crepe.  Fold it in from the top, then gently grab the edges and roll, just like you are rolling a burrito.  Place the seamed side down on your baking pan.  Continue until all the crepes are filled.

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  • Third Step – The Bechemal Sauce

 

1 1/2- 2 TBSP butter

1 1/2-2 TBSP flour

1 3/4 cup milk

salt & pepper to taste

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

3 1/2 TBSP heavy whipping cream

Parmigiano Cheese

parsley

 

Preheat the oven to 350* F

In a hot skillet, melt the butter and whisk in the flour.  Then add the milk and the seasonings, continuing to whisk constantly.  Add the cream and let simmer for about 20 minutes.

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When the sauce is done.  Spoon it over the cannellonies.  Top each cannelloni with a little Parmigiano cheese and parsley.   Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cannellonies are golden brown.

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Once the cannellonies are done, it’s time to eat.  Is good to be Greek.

Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

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