I came back home about 5 minutes ago. I had gone shopping with my boyfriend – and, I know what my male readers are thinking, “Poor Him” – and you know what I got?! 3 pairs of socks. I am not kidding, it was that kind of shopping spree. I tried on at least 10 pairs of jeans, none of which fit right, and I’m not even gonna get started on the bras. My boyfriend, however, well, he managed to buy himself some warm winter shoes, a pair of sweatpants, a sweater, and some socks, too. Life just ain’t fair!
We then went to the grocery store without knowing what we wanted to have for dinner. For those of you who have ever gone shopping while hungry, you know how dangerous it is. For those of you who have ever gone shopping with your ravenous boyfriend, you know what my past half an hour has been like. I literally had to drag him (and, to be fair, myself) past every aisle, keeping him (and me) from buying out of sheer hunger.
Now he’s kindly taken it upon himself to do the cooking, and I have to keep myself occupied and out of the kitchen until he’s done, otherwise I’ll start munching on so many different things I won’t be hungry by the time dinner is actually done. So, I thought I’d share a recipe for a great hotdish I made earlier this week. It’s a potato casserole, filled with aubergine and minced meat (which can be left out for a veggie version), and topped off with olives and feta cheese. I wasn’t sure how it’d turn out, as it was an experiment as per use, but my boyfriend actually asked me where I had gotten the recipe from for this dish, which is an A+ in my book!
Like I said, for a veggie version, leave out the minced meat and use 3 aubergines instead of one. If you want to try and make this vegan, you will need to season this dish much differently, as a lot of the flavor is brought by the feta. If you are succesful, though, let me/us know in the comments below!
Aubergine Minced Meat Casserole With Feta Cheese Topping
- 500g minced beef
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 onion
- 1 aubergine
- 1 zucchini
- 1 goat’s/sheep’s feta (otherwise it’s not lactose-free) (200g)
- 1/3 glas of black olives (2 Tbs.)
- 1 tsp. chili oil (optional, you could use olive oil instead)
- 2-3 tsp. minced beef seasoning (I have a mix, made up of Italian herbs, cumin, and paprika)
- 1 Tbs. dried oregano
- enough potatoes to make two layers in your casserole dish (I used 10)
for the tomato sauce:
- 1 can diced tomato
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 tsp. Italian herbs
- a couple drops of tabasco
1. Prepare your aubergine/minced beef filling. Heat up the chili oil in a pan, then add the chopped onion. Sauté for 30 seconds, then add the beef and diced garlic. Salt lightly and add the seasoning for minced meet, then add the chopped aubergine. Cover with lid and allow to sauté for 10 minutes.
2. In the meantime, peel your potatoes and cut them into very thin slices. If you have the time, I would suggest pre-cooking them (I didn’t), as it reduces the overall time immensely and ensures that the potato layer on top is also “done”.
3. Stack half of your potato slices in your casserole, then thinly slice the zucchini, adding a second layer. Salt each layer lightly!
4. Mix the ingredients for the tomato sauce together.
5. Check on your minced beef/aubergine filling: it should be done. Salt and pepper as much as you see fit, then stir in the olives.
6. Sprinkle 1/3 of the feta on the zucchini layer, then add the meat/aubergine filling.
7. Now spread out all but 2 Tbs. of the tomato sauce on top, and start stacking your last layer: potatoes again. Preheat oven to 200°C.
8. Season the casserole with a bit of salt, spread out the oregano on top, and sprinkle with the rest of the feta and the left-over tomato sauce.
9. Bake for 30 minutes, then take out and drizzle a bit of water on the top layer (only if you used uncooked potatoes). Bake for another 10 minutes, then you’re done!
Enjoy with a side salad, if you like!
It doesn’t look too great cut up into serving sizes, but it was deliciously savory, and very filling!