- 2 medium eggplant
- extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large russet potatoes
- 1/2 cup Greek Kasseri or Manouri cheese grated
- 1/2 cup Greek Kefalotiri cheese grated
- 2 tbsp fine bread crumbs
- 1 lbs ground beef
- 1 lb ground lean lamb
- 1 yellow onion medium dice
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 16 oz tomato sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 tbsp sweet cream butter
- 4 tbsp flour
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp finely ground black pepper
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 3 egg yolks beaten
- 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
- dash ground nutmeg
- Pinch granulated sugar
- Remove stem. Slice eggplant lengthwise into ½-inch thick slices. Lightly brush a baking sheet with olive oil. Arrange slices in a single layer, not overlapping. Lightly brush eggplant with olive oil.
- Broil eggplant 4-inches from heat 4 minutes per side until golden. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Heat oven to 350°F.
- Meanwhile, slice potatoes into thin, ¼-inch thick slices. Lightly brush a baking sheet with olive oil. Arrange slices in a single layer. Lightly brush potatoes with olive oil.
- Bake potato slices 15 to 20 minutes until slightly tender. Remove from oven, gently loosen slices from pan and set aside.
Meat Sauce Preparation:
- Heat a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over Medium heat.
- Add olive oil or butter, garlic and onions and cook until softened. Brown meat 8 to 10 minutes until no longer pink. Skim off some of the fatty drippings if necessary.
- Add tomato sauce and bay leaves to meat; stir and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to Low and simmer uncovered about 30 minutes until sauce is thick and juices absorbed.
- Remove bay leaves.
- In a medium sauce pan, melt butter over Medium-Low heat.
- Add flour, salt and pepper. Stir 3 to 4 minutes until flour is golden.
- Gradually add milk and half-and-half whisking until smooth. Stir in cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. Bring sauce to a boil over Medium heat, stir often and cook 15 to 18 minutes until thickened.
- Remove from heat. In a small bowl, stir 1 Tablespoon at a time of thickened sauce into the beaten egg yolks until sauce and egg yolks measures about ½ cup.
- Add egg yolk mixture to sauce, mix well and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Lightly brush bottom of a 9 x 13 x 2 pyrex dish with olive oil. Layer potato slices, overlapping slightly, in a single layer to cover bottom of dish. Sprinkle ¼ cup of each cheese over potatoes.
- Layer eggplant slices, overlapping slightly. Sprinkle with bread crumbs.
- Spoon meat sauce evenly over eggplant. Sprinkle remaining ¼ cup of each cheese over meat.
- Pour Bechamel over meat. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until golden and top is set.
- Top may be browned under a broiler for 1 minute if desired.
- Cool 10 to 20 minutes before serving. Cut into squares.
This dish can be made ahead as it reheats in the oven, or portions heat in the microwave exceptionally well. The flavors meld and improve by the next or second day.