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Eggplant with braised lamb

Australian Gourmet Traveller Greek recipe for eggplant with braised lamb.

By Rodney Dunn
  • 40 mins preparation
  • 2 hrs 35 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
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Eggplant with braised lamb
The work required for this dish puts it out of the realm of weeknight dinner, but try it when you have the time - its combination of flavours makes it well worth the effort.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced lengthways
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1.2 kg lamb necks (about 2)
  • 800 gm canned peeled tomatoes, coarsely crushed
  • 125 ml red wine (such as cabernet sauvignon)
  • 2 cinnamon quills
  • 6 cloves
  • 4 eggplant (about 220gm each), halved lengthways
  • 50 gm kefalotiri cheese, finely grated
Béchamel sauce
  • 50 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 250 ml (1 cup) milk, warmed
  • 50 gm kefalotiri cheese, finely grated
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Method

Main
  • 1
    Preheat oven to 150C. Heat half the olive oil in a casserole over medium-high heat, add onion and garlic, sauté until tender (4-5 minutes), add lamb, tomato, wine and spices. Cover casserole, transfer to oven and cook until meat falls from the bone (2¼-2½ hours). Remove meat from sauce, shred with forks, place in a bowl. Add enough sauce to moisten (discard any remaining sauce), season to taste.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, place eggplant cut-side up in a roasting pan, drizzle with remaining olive oil and roast until tender (40-45 minutes). Make a cavity in the centre of each eggplant half with a spoon and fill with lamb mixture.
  • 3
    For béchamel sauce, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, add flour, stir to combine, cook until golden (2-3 minutes), slowly whisk in warm milk and cook until bubbling and thickened (5 minutes). Stir in cheese and nutmeg and season to taste.
  • 4
    Increase oven to 200C. Spoon béchamel over lamb, top with cheese, bake until eggplant is warmed through and cheese is melted (12-15 minutes) and serve.

Notes

Drink Suggestion: Full-bodied dry rosé.