- 1 medium to large onion, chopped
- 1 large eggplant, sliced into strips (enough to make 3 layers in a baking dish) - alternative: zucchini.
- 8oz grated cheese (your choice which - I use cheddar)
- 1 small (6oz) tin tomato paste
- 1lb ground beef
- 3 tbsp chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup cream (or milk)
- olive oil
Slice the eggplant (or zucchini) about 1/8"-1/4" thick and lay flat on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Bake in 400F oven for 30-45 minutes (depending how thin the slices are), until soft but not turning crisp. (Alternately, you can fry in oil which is faster but less healthy.) Remove and set aside when done. You can do this step a day in advance and keep the eggplant in the fridge.
While or after the eggplant is cooking, in a saucepan, heat a little olive oil on medium heat and add the onions until they're translucent. Then add the ground beef and mix regularly until the meat is also cooked.
Add the tomato paste and broth to the saucepan and mix together, then turn the heat low and cover, allow to simmer very gently for 10-15 minutes. If the eggplant isn't quite ready, you can take off the head and set aside, covered, to wait.
Turn the oven to 350F. In an oven-safe baking pan, place a layer of the eggplant. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the cheese. Then spread half the meat mixture flat on top. Add another layer of eggplant, and another 1/3 of the cheese, and the remainder of the meat mixture. Press this down fairly firmly so it makes a flat top. Finally, add a third layer of eggplant, sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
In a separate bowl, mix the egg and cream together with a fork; add a little salt and pepper if you like. Pour over the top of the baking pan, and bake in the oven at 350F for about 30 minutes, until the top is set. It can keep warm in the oven longer if needed, but since everything but the egg is cooked already, it just needs long enough to set the egg.
Serve warm. Leftovers freeze & reheat well.