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Buckwheat Kasha with Beef

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Resting Time 10 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (185g) kasha toasted buckwheat groats*
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 large red onion diced (1½ cups)
  • 1 cup carrot ~2 carrots, cut in small ¼" (.5cm) dice or shredded
  • ½ cup celery ~1 stalk, cut in small ¼" (.5cm) dice
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 lb (454gms) lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • cups (420ml) water
  • 2 tablespoons butter or ghee

Instructions

  • *If using raw, untoasted buckwheat groats, I recommend to toast them first for a fuller flavour (see notes below), however you can use them untoasted if you wish.
  • Rinse the buckwheat groats in a strainer under running water, then drain them well.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet or dutch oven with a tight fitting lid (or use foil when it's time to cover it) over medium heat. Add the drained buckwheat kasha and cook them until they are dry, stirring constantly. This only takes a minute or two. Remove the kasha to a bowl and set aside (this step ensures the buckwheat doesn't get mushy when cooked).
  • Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the skillet. Cook the onion, carrot, and celery for five minutes, until they are translucent. Add the garlic and the ground beef and cook until the meat is no longer pink, breaking up large chunks as it cooks (about 10 minutes).
  • Add the marjoram, thyme, bay leaf, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Spread the reserved buckwheat evenly over the top of the hot meat and vegetable mixture. Pour the water over the buckwheat and do not stir. Bring the skillet to a boil, then lower the heat, cover with a lid or tin foil, and simmer the buckwheat kasha for 15 minutes without uncovering. Remove the pot from the heat, and dot the top with the butter.
  • Cover again and leave it to steam for 10 minutes to absorb the remaining water. Stir gently to fluff the buckwheat grains.
  • Serve with a dollop of sour cream or ketchup on top. Steamed vegetables and a salad make good side dishes to go with your buckwheat kasha.

Notes

You can use raw, untoasted buckwheat for cooking kasha, but it won't have the rich nutty flavour of toasted buckwheat. Toasted kasha is a darker brown colour - it may be easier to find in import stores.
However, you can easily toast raw buckwheat yourself. Rinse and drain the buckwheat, then put it into a dry skillet (without oil) and toast over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for about five minutes, until the grains are evenly browned. Or spread the buckwheat on a cookie sheet and toast it in the oven at 300°F (150°C),  for 35 to 40 minutes. Stir the grains halfway through so they brown evenly.