Having just returned from our Sailing Adventures Grecian Odyssey, I have come up with my take on that classical Greek dish….
- 1kg peeled potatoes
- 1.5kg eggplant
- 150ml olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- 5gm Sambol Olek (or chilli paste)
- 1 large red onion, finely chopped
- 250g minced beef
- 250gm minced lamb
- 1/2 teaspoon each ground cinnamon and allspice
- 100g tomato paste
- 125ml red wine
- 400g can Italian chopped tomatoes
- 35g dried breadcrumbs
- 100g butter, chopped
- 75g plain flour
- 1 litre milk
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 150g Greek hard cheese (or parmesan) coarsely grated
- 3 egg yolks
- Cut potatoes and eggplants into 7mm-thick rounds. Combine 100ml oil with 1 clove crushed garlic, brush on eggplant and season. Chargrill the eggplant in batches on each side until tender
- Heat the remaining garlic and oil in a pan over medium heat and cook onion and 1 teaspoon salt & pepper for 8 minutes. Add beef, lamb and spices. Cook stirring until browned. Add tomato paste, wine and simmer until nearly evaporated. Add tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes or until very thick.
- Meanwhile, for béchamel sauce, melt butter in a pan, add flour and stir until grainy. Remove from heat and gradually stir in milk until smooth. Return pan to heat and stir until thick. Remove from heat, stir in nutmeg, cheese and egg yolks and season.
- Boil potatoes for 8 minutes or until just tender and drain well.
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 23cm x 28cm baking dish. Line base with overlapping slices of half the eggplant and all the potato, then pour over 3/4 cup sauce. Scatter with half the breadcrumbs, top with beef mixture, remaining eggplant and crumbs, then remaining sauce. Bake for 35 minutes or until browned. Stand for 30 minutes, then serve drizzled with oil, lemon and chopped mint.