Beef and Eggplant Ragout

17 Jan

ImageI got this recipe from my friend Ruth Marcus and altered it a bit. She called it moussaka, but it’s not like traditional Greek moussaka that is topped with a custard or béchamel sauce and baked. No matter, it’s delicious. I’m calling it Beef and Eggplant Ragout so moussaka lovers won’t be disappointed. The eggplant disappears in the cooking, so it’s a good recipe to serve to kids who like meat and hate veggies. This recipe freezes very well.

Ingredients:

1 medium eggplant, peeled and cubed
2 onions, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 additional bell pepper, any color, diced
2 Tbs. olive oil
1½  lb. ground meat (beef, chicken, or turkey)
14 oz. can diced tomatoes
8 oz. can tomato sauce
Fresh or dried oregano
Fresh or dried parsley
Fresh or dried mint
Salt and pepper

(Ruth didn’t give quantities for spices. I use about 1 Tbs. dried oregano, 2 Tbs. dried parsley and 1 tsp. dried mint. If you use kosher meat, you probably won’t need additional salt, but a few grinds of black pepper – maybe about ½ tsp. – is very nice.)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and bake the eggplant until it starts to soften, about 15-20 minutes.

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven and sauté the onions and peppers a few minutes, then add the eggplant and cook until the vegetables are soft. Add the meat, stirring to break up clumps, until browned. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce and spices. Simmer one hour on low heat.

Serve with rice or couscous. It’s also nice served over spaghetti.

Serves 6

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