While this it is not my usual style of cooking, I hate to follow recipes when I cook and very seldom make things that require that much preparation time, but it was fun making it (with lots of help from my son) and the result was spectacular.
This is definitely not a meal you want to make if you are on a diet, but the decadence of it was pure pleasure, especially on a cool autumn night.
Give this a try. Would work well if you make it in advance for entertaining. You definitely will have plenty of time with your guests (so long as you have it ready to bake before your guests arrive).
50 ml olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
750 g lean beef mince
410 g can chopped peeled tomatoes
250 ml water (Added when necessary)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
10 ml dried origanum
1 teaspoon sugar
2 aubergines, sliced, salted and drained
40 g butter
60 ml flour
750 ml warm milk
300 ml fresh breadcrumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
20 ml lemon juice
Heat 15 ml oil in a saucepan and sauté; onions until soft.
Add mince and cook over a high heat, stirring continuously, until liquid has evaporated.
Add tomatoes, some water, cinnamon and origanum. Simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding water when necessary.
In the meantime, heat half the remaining oil in a frying pan and brown brinjal slices on both sides.
Add more oil when necessary. Set aside. If you take the time to salt and drain, you will use less oil.
Heat the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour.
Add milk gradually, stirring continuously until thick. Cool.
Scatter half the breadcrumbs over the bottom of a greased ovenproof dish.
Stir the remaining breadcrumbs into meat mixture along with half the cheese and one egg.
Stir remaining cheese, eggs and lemon juice into the white sauce.
Arrange half the brinjals in the ovenproof dish.
Top with meat and remaining brinjals and cover with sauce.
Bake in preheated 180 °C oven for one hour.
Serve with a large Greek salad with lots of feta and olives.
and no cheque book.