Lamb and Eggplant Casserole

Lamb and Eggplant Casserole

Since I began this blog, I have been going back to old cookbooks and perusing recipes. Every now and then, I find an old treasure – something that was once well-loved and somehow was forgotten. Much to my surprise, in one of the old cookbooks, I found this brief, hand-written recipe for something that felt like finding an old friend. I had totally forgotten about this recipe which is rather amazing because we all loved it and when Frances’ husband was younger, I made this dish quite often since it was a favorite of his – all of ours really. It’s ridiculously simple to make and so rich in flavors. There might be prettier dishes, but few that could claim to be tastier. I served it with a crisp green salad and a good crusty bread. I wish you could smell just how wonderful this dish is!

Lamb and Eggplant Casserole

Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients:

1/4 cup EVOO

2 pounds lamb stew meat (ask for the shoulder), cut into 2 inch cubes

1 pound of Italian sausage, cut into 1 inch thick slices (any kind will work – beef, pork, turkey – hot or sweet)

3 yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced

4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 large eggplant, cubed (do NOT peel)

2 cups, full-bodied red wine, like a cabernet

4 small bay leaves (fresh or dried)

a good handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley

Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

28 oz. chopped San Marzano tomatoes or 1 large box of Pomi tomatoes

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large skillet (preferably cast iron), brown well the lamb cubes in batches in about 2 Tablespoons of the EVOO. When the lamb cubes are browned, place them in a Dutch Oven. lamb cubes
  3. In the same skillet, brown the Italian sausage. When nicely browned, add the sausage to the Dutch Oven with the lamb. sausage
  4. Adding another tablespoon of EVOO, add the onions and sliced garlic and saute until softened and the pieces begin to get translucent. Transfer them to the Dutch Oven when ready.
  5. Add the final tablespoon of EVOO to the same skillet and add the cubed eggplant. On high heat, brown the cubes, which will have also become tender. eggplant
  6. Add them to the Dutch Oven. Add all of the remaining ingredients to the Dutch Oven and gently mix everything together. unbaked lamb and eggplant casserole
  7. Cover the Dutch Oven and place in the oven to bake for 1.5 hours. This can be made a day ahead and reheated at 325 degrees F. for 30 minutes.
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