Ground Beef & Fennel Gratin with Ajvar and Thyme
So armed with these three culinary weapons, I prepared to do battle with a quarte pound of ground beef, which was otherwise destined to become a burger... or a bolognese sauce... or something as equally boring! Until I transformed it into this little Thursday night treat which I thoroughly enjoyed- and I am sure that you all will too!
This is a really easy one to make! Pop the ground beef into a frying pan alongside the fennel slices and sautée for 4-5 minutes until the fennel becomes translucent and the meat is half done. Remove the fennel and set to one side and add chopped garlic, onion and thyme to the beef and season with salt, pepper and a hint of cinnammon. Turn up the heat until the ground beef begins to brown slightly. Now add a heaped tablespoon of ajvar, a splash of Tabasco and a little bit of honey and stir together.
Pour into an oven-proof dish and set the fennel back on top decoratively. Sprinkle lightly with cheese- I used a little Grana Padano here, and brown under the broiler for 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with a little more fresh thyme and you are ready to go! And you can't get much quicker or easier than that, can you? And so pretty and tasty too! Give it a go and enjoy!