Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Lamb With Eggplant

This is a recipe I bricolaged together from 3 other recipes: one Greek, one Lebanese and one Moroccan. I just love the effect of the sweet and savory spice combination here. The result turned out great for me and I hope you’ll try it too before the decently-priced, not-from-around-the-world eggplants disappear from the markets or you can wait ‘til summer.

1 lb ground lamb or ground beef (actually, I used beef)
4 tbsp olive oil
2 yellow onions, diced
1 large eggplant, diced
½ tsp salt (for drawing out eggplant juices)
1 - 14 oz can of tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp each of: turmeric, oregano, and cumin
1 ½ tsp cinnamon, ground
½ tsp nutmeg, ground
½ tsp black pepper, ground
¼ tsp cayenne pepper, ground
salt to taste

Cut the eggplant into 1-in cubes, sprinkle with salt and drain in a sieve or colander for at least 1 hour. In the meantime, prepare all your other ingredients; chop this, grind that, etc. Music to chop this and grind that by: "Clandestino" by Manu Chao. "Manu" is a real mixture of things and origins just like this dish. Grown up in France with Spanish Republican parents, he usually sounds Mexican when he sings, unless of course, he's singing in Portuguese. You get the idea. Brown the ground beef well in 1 tbsp of the olive oil over medium heat, about 15 minutes. Once it has browned well (meaning it's reached a very dark brown but not black), remove it from the pan leaving as much oil as possible. There may be some browned bits left as well. To this pan, add the chopped onions and sautee until they have lightly browned as well. Remove the onions, scraping all the residue away. Now, dry the eggplant and add it to the pan with the remaining 3 tbsps of oil. Fry on all sides, then add the meat/onion mixture back to the pan. Pour the tomatoes over, then add all the spices. Bring to a simmer. Taste for salt. Simmer until the mixture becomes thick, not sauce-like but chunky and solid (like a great Bolognese sauce if that helps), about 20 minutes. Serve over rice or with good, crusty bread.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this recipe, Susan - not only does it look easy to make, but also, I love the fact that I can sneak in some eggplant. With the taste being what it is (sweet and savory) I don't think my kids would object!

1:25 PM  
Blogger Kalyn said...

I love the sound of this! I'm saving the recipe now.

2:45 PM  
Blogger Foodie's Hope said...

Beautiful looking dish! Love to cook this dish! Very colorful!!Thanks!!

3:15 PM  
Blogger a.c.t said...

I'm making this. Not at the moment but in my head as I type. I love aubergine, sorry eggplant, and we've been eating a lot of lamb recently (in koftas and Turkish style meatballs) so this is definitely going to be an addition to my repertoire.

4:03 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi Lotus, If you cook the eggplant until it's well-done before addin in the other ingredients, it'll practically melt in the final cooking and your kids won't be the wiser!

Hi Kalyn, I love your new photo. Very cute!

Hi Foodie's hope, Thanks for stopping by. I checked out your site and I love it! Great Indian (and otherwise) recipes.

4:04 PM  
Blogger Lea said...


I love lamb.. and I love eggplant... and I love spicey! This sounds right up my alley!!!! =D

5:11 PM  
Blogger hellomelissa said...

i just bought a big ol' eggplant for a persian lamb (i'm using beef) stew. i'll try your recipe as well, it sounds delightful! we must have had the same idea or something.

8:59 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi a.c.t., Turkish meatballs sound great! Can I get you to give me the recipe?

Hi Lea, Sure, spicy. You'd probably kick this dish up a couple notches with you Angry Nosebleed Salsa or those dried habaneros!

Hi Melissa, How do you make the stew? If you blog it, I'll try it too.

9:57 PM  
Blogger Vani said...

Love your blog name! :-)
Lovely picture! I cook more vegetarian stuff than non-veg but this one is a must try! It looks delicious!!

11:13 PM  
Blogger a.c.t said...

I posted a recipe for lamb koftas back in June. Here's the link.

It's the same recipe except you roll the meat into meatball shapes which you fry first and then finish off in a tomato sauce. The sauce has onion and garlic which you fry first, a tin (U.S can:-P) of tomatoes, add a bit of harissa paste (depending on how spicy you like it) and a bit of red wine vinegar and sugar to counterbalance the acidity. They are delicious!

12:03 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi Vani, thanks for visiting!

a.c.t., Thanks for the recipe, it sounds really great!

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Beth said...


Followed your recipe this weekend and it came out WONDERFULLY. I prepared it with ground lamb, let it stew, covered, on low heat for about 90 minutes, & served it with a crusty baguette and a green salad. Absolutely great for crisp fall weather, restorative and nutritious. Thanks for posting!


3:25 PM  
Blogger Tracie B. said...

i can't wait to make this. i love any kind of ground meat! i've never seen ground lamb here in southern italy, but i'm sure it exists. it would be a fun challenge to match a wine to those exotic flavors...i'll get on that right away :)

4:03 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hey Tracie, If you do come up with a wine pairing for ANY of the stuff on this site, you're more than welcome to let me know, as I remain ignorant of all things viniforous.

9:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

made it tonight. yummy dish for sure. added chickpeas, corn and squash

3:06 AM  

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