The national dish of Greece and Cyprus, made up of rich tomato meat sauce, layers of eggplant and potatoes, and topped with a cheesy béchamel sauce. Check out this authentic recipe.
- Olive oil
- 2 large eggplants, cut into 5mm rounds
- 750g lamb ground mince
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 5 tsp oregano, fresh or dried
- 200ml red wine
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 400g diced plum tomatoes
- 2 tsp tomato purée
- 550g Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and sliced into 5mm rounds
For the béchamel sauce
- 40g unsalted butter
- 40g plain flour
- 450ml whole milk, heated
- 40g parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 tsp nutmeg, grated
- 1 egg yolk, beaten
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Place the eggplant slices in a bowl and sprinkle with salt, then set aside for 20 minutes. After, rinse the eggplant under cold running water and pat dry with a paper towel. Arrange the eggplant slices in an oven-proof dish and brush lightly with olive oil. Place in the pre-heated oven and cook for 20-30 minutes
- In a large frying pan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil and fry the lamb, onion, garlic, oregano, bay and cinnamon and salt and pepper and cook over a medium heat for approximately ten minutes, or until the meat is golden brown. Add the wine, tomatoes and tomato purée and gently simmer for 25 minutes, or until the lamb is tender.
- Cook the potatoes in boiling water for 5 minutes, then drain dry for 10 minutes.
- For the béchamel sauce: In a small saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Add the heat milk slowly and half of the parmesan, continuously stirring until the sauce thickens. Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper and egg yolk and stir until well blended. Set aside.
- Arrange at the bottom of an oven-proof dish a layer of potato, topped with a layer of aubergine and then the meat sauce. Repeat and finish with the béchamel sauce. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese.
- Place in the oven and cook for 45-50 minutes until golden brown. Set aside for 10 minutes and then serve.