Stuffed aubergines with minced meat (Melitzanes papoutsakia)
- globe aubergines: 6 large
- minced veal: 400g
- olive oil: 2/3 cup
- garlic: 3 cloves, finely chopped
- onion: 1, finely chopped
- tomatoes: 2 ripe, firm
- parsley: 2-3 tablespoons, finely chopped
- kefalotyri cheese: 350g, finely grated
- béchamel: 2 cups, store-bought or homemade*
- salt a bit
- pepper freshly ground
- sugar a little bit (optional)
Score the aubergines and remove most of the flesh. Sprinkle the flesh with salt and let it sit in a colander for 20 minutes to remove the bitterness. Rinse and drain well. In the meanwhile, heat ½ cup of olive oil and fry the emptied aubergines. Drain them on absorbent paper.
Prepare the meat as follows: heat the remaining oil and sauté the meat and the aubergine flesh, the garlic and the onion. Peel the tomatoes, remove the seeds and the excess juice and finely chop them. Add them to the meat, add salt, pepper and a bit of sugar (optional) and simmer for 30-35 minutes until the liquids have evaporated. Add the parsley and half the grated kefalotyri cheese.
Prepare the béchamel and add a bit of the kefalotyri. Place the aubergines in a baking tin. Fill them with a portion of meat and add a couple of tablespoonfuls of béchamel on top. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and cook them at 200°C for 40-45 minutes. Serve as soon as they have cooled.