- • 1 kg beef cut into pieces
- • 5 large eggplants
- • 2 onions (grated)
- • 5 fresh tomatoes (grated)
- • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- • 1 small glass of wine (Samos wine/sweet)
- • ½ glass olive oil
- • 1 cup of grated cheese
- • 2 bay leaves
- • salt
- • pepper
- • oil for cooking
1.Cut the eggplants into slices and soak them in a bowl of water with a couple of tablespoons of salt for about an hour. Rinse them under cool water to remove any excess salt and squeeze them by hand.
* Conventional wisdom has you salt the slices to draw bitter liquid out of the eggplant. Nowadays, salting the eggplants doesn’t have to do so much with the bitterness. We salt them –mainly– to make them less greasy when fried.
2. Fry the eggplants in a pan and leave them aside.
3. Heat olive oil in a pot and sauté the onions.
4. Add the meat. Sauté it. Add water. Reduce temperature and cook for about 30′.
** NB: If the initial temperature is too low or the heat drops after the food is added, the food begins to lose juices into the bottom of the pan and it stews rather than saute’s. The ingredients to be sauteed should be relatively dry; when wet ingredients are added to the pan, the temperature drops and, again, the food stews in its juices. With meat, this means air or towel drying.
5. When the water has been absorbed, add: tomato paste, wine, grated tomatoes, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Put the lid on and cook for about an hour and a half.
6. Rest the meat to a comfortable temperature.
7. Take a slice of eggplant, place a piece of meat in the middle, close it with another slice of eggplant, and keep it together using a toothpick. Repeat until all meat portions are used.
8. Place the stuffed eggplants in a saucepan. Cover with the sauce in the pot. ( from Step 5).
9. Add the grated cheese.
10. Cook in the over for about 20 minutes.
Translation: Anna Arsenis
Photo: Theo Perris