Lamb and Eggplant Casserole
Although I chose to call this “Lamb and Eggplant Casserole”, I’m not sure it really qualifies as a casserole, since it was neither cooked in the oven nor slowly, the way a good casserole should be.
Rather, this was made fairly quickly, in a large skillet, right on the stove top. Does that make it a skillet? I think not… And it’s not really a stew either… So I was at a bit of a loss as to what to call it. I finally opted for casserole because it sounds nice and I think this is what suits it the best.
I also managed to mix the traditional flavors of so many different places from around the globe in one single dish, I couldn’t even give this “casserole” a proper identity. It tastes a bit like India, thanks to the addition of Garam Masala, a little Lebanese perhaps, because of the presence of tahini, a tad Greek, thanks to the avalanche of olives. Then come a few notes of Italy, because of the tomato sauce, you know… and well, the lamb meat gives it a bit of a British accent… maybe.
But hey, it’s all good stuff, really, and their union resulted in a dish that’s so good, you just want to keep on eating it until… until there’s not even a drop left in the pan and your only option for one more taste would be to lick that skillet clean…
Or whip up another batch, which I think would be a much better option.
We’ll start by cooking the eggplant until it’s beautiful and golden and nice and creamy.
To do that, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of ghee (or other healthy cooking fat of your choice) to a large heavy skillet set over medium heat.
When the fat is completely melted, add the peeled and diced eggplant to the skillet, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook stirring often until the eggplant is softened and golden, about 5 to 8 minutes.
Remove the cooked eggplant to a plate, scrape off any bits and pieces that may have adhered to the skillet and then place it back over the heat source.
As you can see, my eggplant clung quite aggressively to my pan, so don’t fret if that happens to you. That, right there, is flavor, which will all end up in the sauce later.
Do add another tablespoon of ghee to your pan, though, followed by the onion and garlic, and cook until fragrant and softened, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Now throw in the ground lamb and continue cooking until the meat turns completely brown, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Again, taking the time to really brown the meat here will impart MUCH flavor to your dish, so be patient and wait for it to color nicely before you move on to the next step.
When the meat is truly nice and brown, add the crushed tomatoes, tahini paste, garam masala and dried oregano and stir well.
Throw in the reserved eggplant and avalanche of olives (feel free to slice them if you prefer smaller pieces) and stir once again, until all the ingredients are well combined.
Adjust seasoning as needed and simmer uncovered for a few minutes, until well heated through.
Kill the heat and stir in the fresh tomato and chopped parsley. Save a handful of diced tomato to garnish, if you want.
Serve your casserole while it’s still nice and hot!
This dish is fantastic on its own, but it would be absolutely amazing over a bed of Almond Coconut Cauliflower Rice, or even plain white rice if you do indulge in this little grain from time to time.
Whichever way you choose to eat it, I can guarantee you one thing: you are not going to be making this dish only this once…
You’ll definitely want to make it a part of your regular rotation.
Lamb and Eggplant Casserole
- 3-4 tbsp ghee
- 2 medium eggplants, peeled and diced
- 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 1-1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup tahini paste
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 cup pitted green olives
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
- 1 fresh tomato, diced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of ghee (or other healthy cooking fat of your choice) to a large heavy skillet set over medium heat. When the fat is completely melted, add the diced eggplant, salt and pepper and cook stirring often until the eggplant is softened and golden, about 5 to 8 minutes.
- Remove the cooked eggplant to a plate, scrape off any bits and pieces that may have adhered to the skillet and then place it back over the heat source; add another tablespoon of ghee, followed by the onion and garlic, and cook until fragrant and softened, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the ground lamb and continue cooking until the meat turns completely brown, about 5 to 6 minutes, then add the crushed tomatoes, tahini paste, garam masala and dried oregano and stir well. Throw in reserved eggplant and olives and stir once again, until well combined. Adjust seasoning if needed and simmer for a few minutes, until heated through.
- Kill the heat and stir in the fresh tomato and chopped parsley (save a handful of diced tomato to garnish, if desired).
- Serve while it’s still nice and hot!
If you’ve tried this recipe, please take a minute to rate the recipe and let me know how things went for you in the comments below. It’s always such a pleasure to hear from you!
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6 Comments on “Lamb and Eggplant Casserole”
This is totally diffferent than anything I’ve made for dinner before! Love the eggplant in here and it’s super cheap this week at my grocery store.
Lucky! I wish it were the case here. Eggplant is a bit pricey for the time being. I can’t wait for it to be in season, so we can get it super cheap. I hope you like the dish if you end up giving it a try, Laura!
Thanks so much for replying to my email – I made this and my husband (who claims to hate lamb) really liked it. I just finished the rest of it as post-workout meal today, and enjoyed every last bit. I didn’t add olives because I didn’t have them on hand but the flavours were amazing. All the best for your cookbook 🙂
Thank you Seraphina, and real glad to hear the dish was to your and your husband’s liking. You HAVE to try it with the olives, though. They just add sooooo much to the dish.
I’ve got a freezer of ground lamb and am excited to try this recipe. I just pre-ordered your cookbook. Bravo, Sonia! I am so happy for you!
YAY!!! Thank you so much, Nick! I greatly appreciate that! Hope you like the book, and the casserole, too! 🙂