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Cook Talk

greek pastisio recipe for 100
need a good recipe for traditional Greek pastisio to serve at Christmas luncheon. This is the Greek version of a LASAGNA. Will use the Church pans roughly 11 1/2" x17".
Lucky you! I just was working on a pastitsio recipe, based on one from Chef de Cuisine Gregory Brandes, MedCentral Health System, Mansfield, OH. He used beef and cheddar and omitted the traditional seasonings, cinnamon, etc, so I have added those back. The quantities are about right.

This layered casserole has noodle layers, a meat layer and a bechamel/cream sauce layer. Traditionally, the noodles are long macaroni, not elbows, and these are available in the 12 pound case from Anna's at Amazon.

It makes150 servings, makes 6 deep catering pans


50 lbs.ground beef (traditional, ground lamb, you can also mix)
10 lbs.onions, diced
2 bottles dry red or white wine or 1 1/2 quarts water
2 tablespoons allspice
4 tablespoons cinnamon
2 cups olive oil

6 gals. + 1 qt. tomato puree- you can use a combination of diced/crushed tomatoes and tomato paste if you want it chunkier

2 cups butter, melted ( cup per pan)
to taste, salt and pepper
25 lbs.macaroni noodles, uncooked

5 gallons milk
4 pounds butter
4 pounds flour
2 tablespoons nutmeg
64 eggs NOTE some cooks separate the eggs, beating the whites with oil or melted butter and coating the pasta, using only the beaten yolks in the sauce.
3 lbs. (12 cups) cheese, grated (for layers and sauce)-use Kefalotyri if available, or Parmesan cheese
3 pounds (12 cups) cheese, grated (2 cups per pan for topping)

DIRECTIONS:1. In a large steam kettle, cook meat and onions in about 1 qt. of water/wine until water is absorbed, stirring once or twice. Add salt and pepper and spices. Add oil and brown meat mixture.
2. Add tomato puree and simmer 30 minutes. It should not be runny; if it is, you can thicken with a cup or two of fine bread crumbs.
3. Cook pasta al dente; rinse and cool; set aside.
4. Assemble casserole in 6 4 -in. deep steam table pans, layering macaroni, then 1 cup cheese for each pan, then meat mixture. Top with more macaroni and more cheese. Pour cup melted butter over each pan.
5. Melt 4 lbs. of butter; add flour to make roux, and cook 5 minutes. Add milk, stirring constantly. Add 1 lb. grated cheese, nutmeg and salt to taste. When thickened, beat eggs and slowly add to the sauce.
This sauce is thicker than gravy. Dip your wooden spoon in the sauce and draw your finger across the back of the spoon. If the sauce holds a visible line then it is thick enough.
6. Spread sauce evenly over macaroni, be sure to get it into the corners;
7. sprinkle each pan with cup grated cheese.
Bake at 300F in convection oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until 165F internal temperature is reached and top is browned. Or 375 in a conventional oven for 30-40 minutes. MUST stand 15-30 minutes before serving.


Many people think this is best served the day after it is cooked, just reheat covered in a 325 oven until warmed through, about 45 minutes. If eating the day of, let it rest f before serving, so it will slice easily.

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