YIELD:

serves 6-8

ACTIVE TIME: 1 hour 30 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

For the meat

  • 1 pound of quality stewing beef cut in pieces
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 can of tomato sauce 
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste, dissolved into a teacup of water
  • 1/2 cup olive oil 
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 glass of red wine
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1teaspoon cloves
  • a pinch of sugar
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

For the eggplants

  • 2-3 big eggplants
  • olive oil 
  •  cheese and tomatoes to serve

Instructions

For the meat

  1. In a large pot put the meat and add lots of water. Boil the meat until it is tender for about 1 hour. If needed add more water. 
  2. Cut the meat in small squares.
  3. Heat a large, deep pot to high heat. Put the onion and the garlic in it. 
  4.  Sauté them for 3 minutes, until softened. Pour in the red wine, and cook for 4 more minutes. Add the tomato sauce, the tomato paste, the cinnamon stick, the cloves, the bay leaf, the oregano, the thyme, a pinch of sugar and salt and pepper.
  5. As soon as the sauce comes to the boil, add the beef and 1 cup of water and cook for 10 minutes until the sauce thickens. 
  6. When done, put it aside to cool.

For the eggplants 

  1. Slice the eggplants and fry them in hot oil. Do not cook more than 3-4 slices per batch, or the oil temperature will drop. Careful, it may splatter a bit, especially during the first minute or so of cooking. Let the slices fry for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. 
  2. Drain them on a drying rack or paper towel.

For the oven

  1. Preheat the oven to 38oF.
  2. Take two slices of eggplant and make a cross. In the middle, put a square of the beef and then close like an envelope. 
  3. Add a slice of tomato, and some cheese and on top place a toothpick. 
  4. In a baking pan, drizzle some olive oil. 
  5. Place the eggplant envelopes, and add the tomato sauce from the beef. 
  6. Bake for 20-30 minutes. 

ed.

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