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Greek Baked Stuffed Eggplant papoutsakia 7 www.30daysofgreekfood.com #bakedeggplant #stuffedeggplant

Greek Stuffed Eggplant

Sylia
Greek stuffed eggplant with meat sauce, topped with a rich béchamel sauce is one of the heartiest and most filling dishes of the Mediterranean cuisine.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Greek

Ingredients
  

  • 4 medium eggplants
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, oregano to taste

GROUND MEAT SAUCE

  • 1pound (500g) beef and/or lamb ground
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 medium fresh tomatoes chopped
  • 1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes
  • ⅔ cup (55g) parmesan or pecorino or kefalotyri cheese grated
  • 1 pinch of sugar
  • 1 stick cinnamon or 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon optional
  • 2 tablespoons parsley or/and mint
  • Salt, pepper too taste

BECHAMEL SAUCE

  • 1 ⅛ cup (300ml) lukewarm milk
  • ⅛ cup (30g) all-purpose flour
  • ⅛ cup (30g) butter
  • ⅔ cup (55g) parmesan or pecorino or kefalotyri cheese grated
  • 2 egg yolks beaten
  • 1 punch of nutmeg optional
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 392°F (200°C).

THE EGGPLANT

  • Trim ends from eggplant (optional) and halve lengthwise.
  • Place eggplant in a colander and sprinkle lightly with salt (optional). Set aside for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Rinse the eggplant slices and dry them with paper towels.
  • Use a sharp knife to criss-cross and score the flesh. You should only carve each eggplant half, not puncture or cut them completely down to the skin. Brush eggplant skin and flesh with olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and oregano.
  • Place the eggplant halves on a parchment-lined baking pan, cut side down. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until softened and lightly golden. Remove from the oven and set aside.

GROUND MEAT SAUCE

  • In the meantime, in a large pan or deep skillet over medium heat add the olive oil. Add the onion for 5 minutes and stir in the garlic for another for 3 minutes. Add the ground meat, stir lightly and sauté for 10 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, sugar, and cinnamon (optional), raise heat to medium-high and simmer for at least 20 minutes until most of the liquid cooks off. Remove from heat, add the cheese, parsley or/and mint. Remove the cinnamon stick if used. Set aside to cool.
  • While the meat sauce is simmering prepare the bechamel.

THE BECHAMEL

  • Add the butter to a small pot over medium-low heat. Once it melts add the flour, salt, pepper and stir continuously for a few mins. Add gradually (3-4 times) the lukewarm milk*(1) to the flour/butter mixture. Each time stir vigorously and wait until the milk is completely incorporated. Remove from heat*(2) and add the nutmeg (optional), cheese, egg yolks, salt, and pepper. Continue to stir until the sauce thickens.

ASSEMBLING

  • Use a spoon to fill the eggplant halves with meat sauce. Top with béchamel and bake in a preheated 356 °F (180°C) oven for 20 mins or until browned.
  • Serve with fresh chopped parsley (optional) and a fine red dry wine (recommended).

Notes

  1. The milk should be at least at room temperature. If you add cold milk, your sauce will be lumpy.
  2. It would be better to let the sauce cool for a few minutes before stirring in the egg yolks.
Keyword Greek stuffed eggplant