Stuffed Artichoke Hearts

I absolutely love artichokes but peeling them can be quite time consuming, so I cheat by buying frozen raw artichoke hearts that are hassle free. These can be bought at most middle eastern shops in the frozen section.  Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 50 minutes.

Ingredients (serves 4 people)

  • 1 large white onion finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots chopped into small pieces
  • 2 celery sticks chopped into small pieces
  • 300 grams of minced meat chopped
  • 10-12 artichoke hearts
  • half a cup of peas, fresh or frozen
  • Bunch of parsley finely chopped
  • 1 small tin of tomato paste (I like Hunts Tomato Paste)
  • 1 tomato paste tin full of boiling water
  • 2 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Plain yogurt or garlic yogurt (served on the side)

Preparation

  1. Boil the artichoke hearts in a large saucepan for 30 minutes. Then add the chopped carrots and the peas, and boil for 10 more minutes. You will know the artichokes are ready when you can easily stick a toothpick through it without effort. Drain and leave to the side for now.
  2. You can begin doing this whilst the artichokes are boiling. Add olive oil a large saucepan and fry the onions for a few minutes, then add the meat, celery, cinamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Fry this on medium heat for 10 minutes (until the meat is cooked). Add more spices if needed.
  3. Add the tomato paste to the pan and mix it all in, then add the water and mix it well. This should create a slightly thicker consistency. Add three quarters of the chopped parsley to the pan, cover and let this simmer on low for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the carrots and the peas to the meat mix and leave the artichokes to the side.
  5. In a large glass oven tray, layer the bottom of the tray with a thin layer of the meat mix. Then place the artichoke hearts carefully on top of the thin layer.
  6. Stuff the artichoke hearts with the remaining meat mix and garnish with the remaining parsley. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top and cover the tray with aluminium foil.
  7. Place the tray in the oven once this is pre-heated to 200 degrees Celsius (392 Fahrenheit) for 10 minutes.
  8. Uncover and serve with plain yogurt or garlic yogurt.

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