Eggplant with braised lamb

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 4 people

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.

  • 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
01   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.
02   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.
03   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.
04   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.

Topics:

AUTUMN, CLOVES, CINNAMON, GREEK, RED WINE, MAIN, TOMATOES, EGGPLANT, DRINK SUGGESTION, CHEESE, LAMB

Recipe:

RODNEY DUNN

Photography:

WILLIAM MEPPEM

Styling:

AIMEE JONES AND RODNEY DUNN

Drinking Suggestion:

FULL-BODIED DRY ROSÉ.

FEATURED IN

Mar 2010

Mar 2010

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