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Melitzanes papoutsakia (Greek stuffed eggplant)

Extra juicy and absolutely delicious! Melitzanes Papoutsakia’ (Greek stuffed eggplant) this aubergine based traditional Greek recipe will certainly amaze you! ‘Melitzanes Papoutsakia’ (Greek stuffed eggplant) is a Greek dish which receives its name from the resemblance of its shape with little shoes.

Ingredients

For eggplants and ground meat

  • 3 eggplants, medium sized 
  • 3 tablespoon(s) olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon(s) thyme
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove(s) of garlic
  • 1 pinch granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoon(s) thyme, dry 
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) cloves
  • 250 g ground beef, ground 
  • 40 g red wine
  • 400 g canned tomatoes
  • 50 g gruyere cheese, grated 
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1 tablespoon(s) 
  • mint
  • salt
  • pepper

For the béchamel sauce

  • 20 g butter
  • 20 g all-purpose flour
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 250 g milk, at room temperature
  • 50 g gruyere cheese, grated 
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) 
  • nutmeg

To serve

  • 1 tablespoon(s) 
  • parsley
  • olive oil, some

How to Make it

For the eggplants

  1. Place a nonstick pan over high heat.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and let it get very hot.
  3. Coarsely chop the onion and garlic. Add them to the pan.
  4. Add:
    • sugar
    • thyme
    • cinnamon
    • cloves
    • salt
    • pepper
  5. Stir with a wooden spoon and sauté for about 5 minutes, until they caramelize nicely.
  6. Add the ground meat and sauté for 2-3 minutes until golden.
  7. Add the wine and wait until the alcohol evaporates.
  8. Add the tomatoes and allow the mixture to boil for 10-15 minutes, until it reduces.
  9. When ready, remove from heat and set aside to cool a little.
  10. Add:
    • gruyere
    • parsley
    • thyme
    • mint
  11. Mix and fill the eggplants with a spoon.

For the béchamel sauce

  1. Place a pot over medium heat.
  2. Add
    • butter
    • flour
    • salt
    • pepper.
  3. Whisk until the butter melts and the mixture is completely combined.
  4. Add the milk in 5 batches, while continuously whisking and wait for each addition to become completely incorporated before adding the next.
  5. As soon as the first bubbles appear on the surface, remove from heat.
  6. Add:
    • Gruyere
    • nutmeg
    • pepper
    • salt
    • egg yolks.
  7. Whisk until completely incorporated.
  8. Use a spoon to spread the béchamel sauce over the ground meat filling and sprinkle with ground nutmeg.
  9. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden.
  10. Serve with some extra virgin olive oil and finely chopped parsley.

Alternative to béchamel sauce

For a lighter meal, skip the béchamel sauce and crumble and feta cheese over the eggplants before putting them in the oven.

This Akis Petretzikis video demonstrates the preparation.

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