Delicious Greek-style recipe
3 medium aubergines,
500g minced lamb
75g plain flour,
hard cheese (like Cheddar) to taste
salt and pepper
nutmeg, a pinch of freshly grated or ground
2 medium onions
3 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons tomato purée
red or white wine, 75ml (a very small glass)
a good teaspoon or two of ground cinnamon
a handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley
green salad to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4.
2. Wipe or rinse the aubergines, top and tail them then slice them into discs about ½ cm thick.
3. Pour a good glug or two of olive oil into a bowl, dip the aubergine slices into it, then lay them on a baking sheet. Cook in the oven for about 10 minutes until they are golden; check on them frequently because any slightly thinner ones may burn. Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave to one side.
4. While the aubergine slices are baking make the cheese sauce. First grate the cheese. Then melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour to make a thick roux. Cook this gently for a minute or two, then add the milk little by little. Once all the milk has been added and you have a smooth white sauce, let it bubble and thicken slightly. Finally, stir in the cheese, some salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Leave on one side to cool.
5. Last of all make the meat sauce. Peel and chop the onions and garlic and fry in a large saucepan with some olive oil for a few minutes then add the lamb. Cook the meat until just brown.
6. Chop the parsley then mix it with the meat along with the wine, cinnamon and tomato purée. Season to taste then cook gently for about 15-20 minutes.
7. When the cheese sauce is cool, beat the two eggs together and stir them into it.
8. Layer aubergines and meat sauce in a gratin dish then pour the cheese sauce over the top.
9. Bake for about 40 minutes until the top is puffed and golden.