- 1 clove garlic, minced
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 1/4 pound ground lamb (you can substitute ground beef)
- 1 teaspoon oregano, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons basil, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 2 eggplants, halved and sliced into 1/2 thick pieces.
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons panko (you can substitute bread crumbs)
- Béchamel Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk
- 2 eggs
First step is to make the meat sauce:
In a large saucepan, melt the better and sauté onion and garlic until they soften. Add ground lamb (or beef) and continue to sauté until the meat browns, about 10 minutes. Once the meat is brown, add the oregano, basil, cinnamon, tomato sauce and red wine. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
While the meat sauce is simmering away on the stove, prepare the eggplant. Place eggplant on a sheet pan, and brush lightly with melted butter. Broil in your oven for about 4 minutes per side, or until lightly golden brown.
Next up, the Greek béchamel sauce. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and once the flour is combined slowly add the milk. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir constantly until mixture is thickened. It should coat the back of your spoon, and resemble gravy. Season with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs together. Ladle 1/2 cup of the warm flour/milk mixture into the eggs, and whisk to combine with the eggs. Add back into the rest of the flour/milk mixture and whisk to combine. Set sauce aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish, layer 1/2 the eggplant, overlapping the slices slightly. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons each of the grated cheeses. Stir panko into the meat sauce and spoon all of the meat sauce evenly over the eggplant. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons each of the grated cheeses. Layer the rest of the eggplant slices, overlapping. Pour all of the cream sauce evenly over the top. Sprinkle with the rest of the remaining cheese. I, personally, love a lot of cheese on the top, but if you prefer less, feel free not to use all of the cheese. Bake 35 – 40 minutes or until golden brown and the top is set. If you want, you can brown the top a little more under the broiler……this usually takes only 1-2 minutes, so watch it carefully!
Cool slightly, then cut into squares and serve.
TIP: Make the meat sauce and the eggplant the day before.
TIP #2: This entire dish can be made the day before and reheated before serving.