oh. my. eggplant.

Oh eggplant! I buy eggplant fairly often, but never really have a plan about how to prepare it. Usually it ends up as some variation on Ratatouille or Eggplant Parmigiana. I switched it up this time and tried something new. And WOW! Make this as soon as you can! It’s delicious!

Plan on serving a nice medium bodied red wine with this and some crusty bread. Divine!

braised beef with eggplant

1 eggplant

1/4 cup flour (ish)

1″ thick rib eye, marinated overnight 
          stew beef would be fine also, but obviously not as good

2 medium-sized onions, medium dice 

1 carrot, medium dice

1 can diced tomatoes, drained (reserve liquid)

4 Tbsp tomato sauce (or paste or purée)

1/2 cup prepared demi glace (or 2 tsp gravy browning and one bouillon cube)

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1 zucchini, large dice

1/4 cup red wine

1 tsp red wine vinegar

Salt and Pepper

Oil for frying

Peel the eggplant and cut it into 3/4″ cubes. Put it into a bowl with the flour and season well with salt and pepper. Toss it to coat then fry it with plenty of cooking oil over high heat. It may be best to do this is two batches. Don’t crowd the pan. You should leave it for several minutes before jiggling the pan to get a good color and crispness on the eggplant. Fry until golden. Remove to the bowl of a 4 quart crockpot.

While the eggplant is frying, cube up the steak into 1.5cm pieces. Toss the meat with flour and salt and pepper and fry it once you are finished with the eggplant. If you are using rib eye and happen to have the bone on it, PLEASE put the bone in the crockpot. It will add body and flavor. Once the meat is well browned place it in the crock with the eggplant.

Pour out any excess oil from your frying pan and put it back on high heat. Add the onions and the cubed carrot to the pan and toss it all around. Let the vegetables cook for several minutes then add the wine. De-glaze the pan (scrape off all the little crusty flavor filled bits that are stuck to the bottom of it) and let the wine reduce by about half. Add the reserved tomato liquid and let it reduce by about half again. Add all that to the crock along with the diced tomatoes, herbs, and another good splash of wine. Add the zucchini and vinegar. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper over the top and give a bit of a stir.

Turn this to high heat and let it bubble away for about 4 hours. Serve it over cooked pasta (I used fusilli, but orecchiette or shells would be ideal)

Enjoy!

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