A luscious layer of juicy beef mince along with sweet eggplants in puff pastry are baked together until golden perfection. The creamy yogurt sauce on top is a must!

Serves: 6-8 Prep. time: 20′ Cooks in: 1:10′ Ready in: 1:30′

Ingredients
375 g puff pastry
250 g minced beef
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tsp tomato paste
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp sugar
4 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
1 egg beaten with a little water
sesame seeds for sprinkling
salt, black pepper

For the filling:
3 small purple eggplants, in 0.5 cm slices
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3-4 sprigs parsley
1 garlic clove, mashed

For the yogurt sauce:
250 g Greek sheep yogurt (with skin)
4 tbsp fresh soft cheese* (Katiki or Cretan xinomizithra)
salt, pepper

For serving:
1 small bunch fresh mint, leaves finely chopped
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 ripe tomatoes, firm, diced

* Katiki is a fresh, very soft and creamy cheese that is produced exclusively in Domokos, in Central Greece.

Method
Step 1
Season eggplants with salt and place in a colander. Set aside for 15 minutes. Rinse with water and pat dry using kitchen paper. Preheat oven at 200C/fan. Transfer eggplants in a shallow baking dish lined with non-stick baking parchment. Whizz oil with garlic and parsley and brush eggplants. Bake for 30 min or until softened. In the meantime prepare the beef.

Step 2
For the minced beef: In a large pan heat oil and cook minced beef, onion and garlic on medium heat until beef has nicely browned. Season with salt and pepper, pour in wine and when alcohol evaporates add cinnamon, sugar and tomato paste dissolved in a little water. Simmer until all water has evaporated. Remove pan from heat, discard cinnamon stick, stir in parsley and allow to cool.

Step 3
Line puff pastry in a square baking dish (baking dish should be a little smaller in size from the pastry) covering bottom and sides. Spread minced beef and cover with eggplants. Create a frame with the pastry around the filling and brush the edges with egg wash. Sprinkle the edges of the pastry with sesame seeds and bake until pastry has nicely colored.

Step 4
Whizz all ingredients for the yogurt sauce and set aside. To serve, cut warm pie pieces and serve with yogurt sauce on top and some tomato mixed with oil, mint and salt.

Photo: George Drakopoulos – Food styling: Tina Webb

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