- 1 large eggplant (aubergine)
- Greek olive oil
- One large onion, chopped
- Six cloves of garlic, chopped
- Three tablespoons of olive oil
- One kilogram (2.2 lbs) of minced/ground beef or lamb
- One large (28 oz) tin of diced tomatoes
- One cup of red wine
- Two tablespoons of chopped, fresh parsley
- Two tablespoons of chopped, fresh Greek basil (optional)
- Two bay leaves
- One teaspoon of sugar
- One cinnamon stick
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Two tablespoons of tomato paste
- Three tablespoons of butter
- Four tablespoons of plain flour
- Two cups of milk
- Sprinkle of nutmeg, cinnamon and black pepper
- Half a cup of freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
- One cup of grated cheese (tasty, Edam, whatever)
- One egg
Cut eggplant into 5mm slices. Lay the slices out and sprinkle liberally with salt. This leaches out the bitterness. Leave these for at least an hour.
Heat olive oil in a saucepan and add onion and garlic. Sauté these until the onion starts to change colour. Add the meat and brown thoroughly. Add bay leaves and cinnamon stick, and continue to stir the meat until all the moisture from the meat is gone. Add tomatoes, herbs and sauces. Mix through and allow to cook for fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally. Add wine and continue to cook until the sauce is very thick. It should have very little moisture in it all. Remove the bay leaves and cinnamon stick! Allow to cool.
In another saucepan, melt butter over a low heat. Remove from heat and add the flour. Blend this through thoroughly, then return to the heat and cook gently for three minutes, stirring continuously so that it does not catch (burn). Remove from heat and add the milk. Mix this through then return to the heat and allow mixture to boil. Allow sauce to cook gently for one minute, stirring continuously. Remove from heat, add cheeses, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper and mix through. Stand sauce aside and allow to cool.
Rinse the slices of eggplant under running water and dry on paper towels. Heat olive oil in a frying pan. Place slices of eggplant in the pan and quickly turn to coat both sides in the hot oil. Fry until the slices are cooked (when they change colour and become soft). Drain. Repeat with remaining slices.
In a large casserole dish, lay slices of eggplant to cover the bottom. Cover with a layer of the meat sauce. Repeat layering eggplant and meat sauce until within three centimetres of the top of the dish.
Add the egg to the cool, cheese sauce and mix through thoroughly. Spoon this on the top layer in the casserole dish and sprinkle with extra grated cheese. Bake at 200 degrees C for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool and set for ten minutes.
Serve with a tossed Greek salad, red wine and crusty garlic bread.