A classic, simple, traditional, wholehearted, insanely delicious stew, Beef with Eggplants in the Pot needs no particular introduction. You can cook this recipe “as is” or you can use it as a base for your own tailor-made adjustments.
Cooking time: 90-120 minutes
You will need: a pot
- 1 Kg (2 Lbs) of beef (cut for stew)
- 1 Kg eggplants
- 2 big onions, diced
- 4 – 5 cloves of garlic, diced
- 3-4 tomatoes (approx. 500 g / 17 oz) or the equivalent net weight of canned tomatoes from a brand you trust.
- 1 glass (cup) of olive oil
- 2 glasses (cups) of hot water
- 2 generous pinches of oregano
- Salt & pepper
- A bit of parsley, if you have some in the fridge.
- Wash and cut the meat in cubes, approx. 1 inch / 2.5 cm wide.
- Cut the eggplants: either lengthwise (half across the middle and then half from top to bottom) or in discs, approx. 1 inch / 2.5 wide.
- Put the eggplants in salted water and let them stay there for approx. 30min (or for as long as the rest of the preparation lasts. We do this in order to reduce the eggplant’s natural bitterness.)
- Dice the onion, the garlic and the tomatoes (if fresh).
- Pour 1/2 a cup of olive oil in a pot. Bring it to heat.
- Add the diced onions and garlic in the pot and saute for a few minutes until they turn golden brown.
- Add the meat in the mixture and saute for a few minutes.
- Take the eggplants out of the water, (use a colander). Add the eggplants in the pot and stir 2-3 times.
- Add the tomatoes, the rest of the olive oil and the 2 cups of water.
- Add salt, pepper and the oregano.
- Reduce the fire to medium and simmer without a lid for 90-120 minutes.
- Give it a stir from time to time (… mainly for the joy of … doing it.:)
- The whole goal and idea is that the liquids reduce to a thick sauce. (This is why you don’t want a lid on the pot.)
- When ready, let it sit for 5-10 minutes before you serve.
- When serving, a bit of parsley on the top is always nice.
Boiled & Broiled potatoes is a very good side to this dish. However, maybe all you really need is a green salad and some bread to scoop the juice. 🙂
Notes on Beef with Eggplants in the Pot
- If you’re going for spicy, you could add a dash of chili flakes half-way through cooking.
- There are two kinds of eggplants: one that is long and thin, another that is round and big. Go for the long and thin ones.
- If you can only find the other kind of eggplants then, again, cut them in 1 inch / 2.5 cm slices and then again in half. The problem with the big, round eggplants though is that there isn’t enough skin to hold the flesh of the eggplant together while simmering in the pot. So, you may want to either saute in olive oil before you add them in the pot, or gracefully resign and see what happens. (It’s just a matter of looks because the taste of the stew is going to be delicious, anyway. 🙂
- In choosing a brand of canned tomatoes check to see if the only preservative mentioned on the can is ascorbic/citric acid (that is: Vitamin C).