My latter born has been tinkering with this recipe for weeks. It was a bit salty on his first iteration, but we’ve settled into a version that is seriously tasty. We’ve eaten the meat on its own – as a main dish, and this week we stuffed it into Calzones. It tastes distinctly Argentinian. This makes a terrific weeknight project for kitchen-interested kids. Mine can handle everything in this recipe except draining the fat off of the meat. The pan is still a bit heavy and unwieldy – and even I hate dealing with piping hot FAT. Tell your kids that my 9 year-old wrote the recipe and that he can prep all of it (except draining the hot fat – but we went over that already).
Argentine Calzones (serves 6)
- 1½ lbs ground beef (we use grass fed organic from TJ’s or Costco)
- ¾ cup chopped manzanilla olives
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
- 1½ cups grated mozzarella cheese
- 3 prepared pizza dough rounds (we used TJ’s)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten plus 1 tablespoon water
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a pizza stone in your oven, if you own one. If you don’t own one and are interested in making pizza or calzone at home regularly – they are worth the investment. They make a massive difference in the quality of the crust you’ll get out of your home oven. My father tells me to remind you that you need to heat your oven for a while – even 30 mins – before you bake pizza or calzone. Again, a truly hot oven makes a big difference in the quality of pizza or calzone you’ll be able to produce.
Brown the beef in a non-stick pan. Once the beef is browned drain off all of the fat. With the meat on medium-low add the olives, spices and tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes start to soften, approximately 5 minutes. Take off the heat and set aside in a bowl.
Roll out the pizza dough on a well-floured wooden board. Place 1½ cups filling (it should be approximately 1/3 of the total filling) on one side of the pizza dough leaving a ½ inch uncovered around the edge. Sprinkle ½ cup of grated cheese over the filling. Bring the unfilled side of the pizza dough up and over the filling. Press firmly with your fingers to hold the edges together. Using a basting brush lightly brush some of the egg wash over the top of the calzone (you don’t want to soak it – just glaze it lightly). Shift the calzone to the oven and bake for 25 minutes. The outside will be golden. Slice and serve immediately. Repeat three times with the three pizza rounds until you’ve used all of the filling.