Meatzza – this may be the ultimate meat lovers’ pizza! Instead of bread dough, the pizza crust is made of mince beef. I watched an episode of Nigellissma on Youtube where Ms Lawson made a meatzza. If the domestic goddess says it is okay to make a meatzza, you follow without any question. I prefer to watch her in action instead of reading her books. Over the years, I have collected some of her cookbooks but it’s her shows and charisma that compelled me to try her recipes.
My beloved has returned from a 3 weeks overseas trip and we celebrated our reunion with a meatzza. Whilst it is called a meatzza, it could easily be passed off as a gigantic burger without the buns or a meatball pancake with toppings! Despite the quirkiness of the dish, it was tasty and quite easy to make. I meant this dish has already won half of the battle with the melted cheese on top right?
(adapted from www.nigella.com, with minor tweaks)
What you’ll need for 2 – 3 servings:-
- 1 x 400 grams can chopped tomatoes, drained
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp dried oregano (1 tbsp in the meat mixture & 1 tsp in the tomatoes)
- pepper to taste
- salt to taste (I added 1/2 tsp of salt in the meat & a pinch in the tomatoes)
- 500 grams minced beef
- 3 tbsps grated Parmesan
- 3 tbsps breadcrumbs (which I have replaced with 3 tbsps semolina)
- 3 tbsps chopped fresh parsley (which I have omitted)
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 clove garlic, peeled & grated
- Cooking oil for greasing
- A handful of grated pizza cheese (a blend of mozzarella, Parmesan & cheddar)
- 1 small bunch fresh basil
To make the “pizza sauce”: Drain the can tomatoes over a sieve as much as possible and then add 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, a pinch of salt and freshly milled black pepper. Set aside.
To make the “meat crust“: Combine mince beef, 1/2 teaspoon salt, black pepper, grated Parmesan, breadcrumbs or semolina, fresh parsley (if using), 1 tablespoon of dried oregano, eggs and grated garlic in a mixing bowl. Use one hand to mix all the ingredient to just combine. Be careful not to overwork the mixture.
To prepare the meatzza: Before you do so, preheat the oven to 20ºC/gas mark 7/425ºF. Nigella’s way: Grease a shallow, round baking tin of about 28cm / 11 inches diameter and turn the meat into it, pressing the mixture lightly with your fingers to cover the bottom as if the seasoned minced meat were your pizza crust. I prefer a thinner crust so instead of using a 28m shallow dish, I used a 20cm/8 inched cast iron skillet and a 24cm/9 inches pie dish. I greased both of the vessels before pressing the meat mixture onto them. Spread the tomatoes mixture onto the “meat crust” and sprinkle pizza cheese on top. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the meat is cooked through and cheese is blistered. Remove from the oven and let them sit for 5 minutes and garnish with some fresh basil. Serve immediately!