Behold the most famous dish that combines beautiful eggplants, fragrant meat and creamy béchamel. Such a divine combination of ingredients, do try it this Sunday!

Serves: 8-10 Prep. time: 30′ Cooks in: 2h Ready in: 2:30′

6 large aubergines, cut in 1 cm slices
olive oil for frying

For the beef mince
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
700 g beef mince
1 large red onion, grated
1 garlic clove, grated
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 heaped tbsp tomato paste
400 g chopped tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
5 allspice berries
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp sugar
6 tbsp parsley finely chopped
salt, black pepper

For the béchamel
6 tbsp butter
8 tbsp flour
800 ml milk
3 eggs
1 pinch nutmeg
1 cup Kefalotyri cheese or Parmesan
salt, pepper


Step 1
Place the aubergine slices in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Set aside for 30 minutes. Rinse with water and pat dry using kitchen paper. Heat oil in a medium frying pan and fry aubergines until nicely colored on both sides. Drain on kitchen paper. Alternatively, brush with oil and bake in the oven, fan or grill.

Step 2
In a large pan heat oil and cook onion and garlic on medium heat until translucent and fragrant. Stir in beef mince with a spatula until it breaks down and has nicely browned. Pour in wine and when alcohol evaporates add all tomato, sugar, allspice, parsley, cinnamon, oregano, salt and pepper.

Step 3
Preheat oven at 170C/fan. For the béchamel: In a medium pan heat butter and when melted add flour and stir constantly until flour changes color. Then pour in warm milk stirring at all times until you get a nice béchamel, not too runny and not too thick. Remove pan from heat and leave for 2 minutes. Add eggs stirring vigorously, then add cheese, nutmeg, a little salt and pepper.

Step 4
Line the bottom of a pan with half eggplant slices. Cover with half beef mince. Repeat with remaining eggplants and beef mince. Finish with béchamel. Bake for 1 hour or until surface has nicely browned. Leave for 30΄ before serving.

Photo George Drakopoulos – Food styling Τina Webb

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