For the aubergines
- Approx. 200ml extra virgin olive oil
- 4 aubergines
- 1 tbsp sumac, to sprinkle when layering dish
For the potato topping
- 450g Maris Piper potatoes
- 450g sweet potatoes
- 120ml milk
- 80g butter
- 1 tsp sumac
For the mince
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large white onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1kg lamb mince
- 150ml dry white wine
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 100ml chicken stock
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 3 heaped tbsp panko crumbs
- Grated hard cheese
- Fine dry breadcrumbs
- Top and tail the aubergines and cut rounds 1 cm thick. Place in a colander, sprinkle generously with salt and leave for 20 minutes. Rinse and squeeze off the excess water. Bring a large frying pan with some of the olive oil to a medium-high heat. Fry the aubergine slices in a single layer for 3-4 minutes on each side then, drain on kitchen paper. Add more oil and continue cooking in batches until all the aubergine slices have been cooked, patting them with kitchen paper to remove any excess oil.
- Peel the Maris Piper potatoes and cut into evenly sized chunks. Cover with cold water in a pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat slightly and continue cooking for approximately 20 minutes or until soft. Drain the potatoes then transfer them back into the saucepan. Add half the milk and butter and use your Masha to mash to a smooth consistency. Season with salt, pepper and some sumac to taste. Leave to cool for a few minutes then transfer the mashed potato to a piping bag and set aside.
- Meanwhile, cook the sweet potatoes following the steps above, and using the remaining milk, butter and sumac to flavour; transfer to a piping bag once you’ve used the Masha to achieve a smooth consistency and left it to cool slightly.
- To cook the mince, add the olive oil to a large saucepan, bring to a medium heat and add the onion. Sweat for 4 minutes, add the garlic and cook for a further two minutes, stirring all the time. Turn the heat to high and add the mince. Stir continuously and use a fork or wooden spoon to break up the mince as it cooks. When the colour of all the mince has changed, add the white wine. Let it evaporate and add all the remaining ingredients apart from the breadcrumbs. Stir, bring to the boil, lower the heat and cook until all the liquid has been absorbed – approx. 30-40 minutes – stirring from time to time. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and add the breadcrumbs. Stir to fully incorporate, remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaves and set aside.
- Preheat a conventional oven to 200°C. To assemble the dish, spread 2-3 tbsp of the mince into your Dura 230 Oval Oven Dish. Add one third of the aubergine slices and season with salt, pepper and a pinch of sumac. Top with half of the remaining mince. Add a second layer of aubergine slices and season again. Spoon the rest of the mince on top and finish with the last third of aubergines.
- For the topping, pipe the Maris Piper potato and sweet potato mash alternatively in a zig-zag fashion. Sprinkle with plenty of grated hard cheese like a Cretan Graviera or parmesan and some fine dry breadcrumbs. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
Aubergine absorbs quite a lot of oil, so fry the rounds in stages, adding oil as you need to before cooking each batch.
To help cut and serve perfect slices, it is best to cook the dish the day before, keep it in the fridge overnight and reheat the following day. Or let it rest for a minimum of 40 minutes after baking. Serve with a Greek salad or dressed green leaves with a scattering of pomegranate seeds and toasted walnuts.