This is a post from one of my dearest friends (and flatmate!) Hannah, who has decided to share her mother’s Ross il-Form (baked rice) recipe.
As someone who manages to burn frozen pizza and microwave popcorn on a regular basis, I would not consider myself a culinary expert in any way, shape or form. So whether that is a testament to just how easy this recipe is to follow, or my sheer determination to make it work because I love it so much, is up to you to decide.
Ross il-Forn, or Baked Rice, is a dish my mum used to throw together when we needed something yummy to take on a picnic or when she wasn’t in the mood to cook a Sunday roast. I make it for similarly practical reasons – it works best when making a large amount of it, which means that, living on my own, I get a good few meals out of it. Aside from that, it always reminds me of family lunches and makes me feel a little closer to Malta despite how far away I am. It’s also super tasty.
• 500g rice (boiled)
• 3 or 4 bacon rashers (chopped)
• 1 onion (chopped)
• 400g mince meat
• 400g passata*
• 1 tsp tomato puree
• 400g beschamel*
• 400g chopped tomatoes*
• 2 eggs (beaten)
• Handful grated parmesan
• Pinch (and a bit) mixed herbs
• Salt & pepper to taste
*approximate – the more you use, the better!
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Fry the onion and bacon together in a large frying pan for 5 minutes then add the mince meat and cook until brown through. Drain the excess liquid from then pan and add the passata, chopped tomatoes, puree, herbs and seasoning, mixing well. Turn the heat down and allow to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
Put the boiled rice into a large dish and carefully pour on the mixture from the frying pan. Take some time to mix this all together, making sure you get all the rice in the corners. Add the beschamel sauce and mix in, followed by the grated cheese and ¾ of the beaten egg mixture.
Once all this has been mixed together, use the back of a spoon to flatten the top and pour the remainder of the beaten eggs over it. Using the back of the spoon again, spread this over the top – this will give the dish a glossy, crispy layer. Nom!
Place the dish in the oven on the bottom shelf and leave to cook for roughly 1 hour or until brown on top. Fifty minutes should be fine in a fan-assisted oven.
Last of all: Enjoy!