Lamb Eggplant Casserole

“This dish is like eggplant parmigiana, but with a ground lamb and tomato sauce. The herbs and tomatoes in the dish pair nicely with the tight structure and brambly aromas of the Redemption Zin.”
– Katie Wetzel Murphy, Owner and AVV Ambassador

Ingredients for Sauce:
olive oil
1 cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lb. ground lamb
28 oz. can of diced tomatoes

Ingredients for Casserole:
½ cup flour
salt and ground pepper
2 lbs. eggplant in ½″ slices
½ cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh oregano, finely chopped
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Method of Preparation for Sauce:
In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook onion in olive oil until it softens, about 5 minutes. Add ground lamb and cook until browned, breaking up bigger chunks. Add diced tomatoes and garlic, stir and lower heat, and cook until about half of the liquid is gone, about 30 minutes.

Method of Preparation for Casserole:
Put the flour in a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper to taste. Lightly coat each eggplant slice on both sides, and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a skillet until it is quite hot, and quickly fry each eggplant slice until browned on both sides. Remove each slice as it is browned and place on paper towels to drain.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Spread half of the tomato lamb sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13″ baking dish. Layer half the eggplant slices over this, sprinkle with half the parsley, oregano and cheese. Repeat for a second layer, topping the whole thing with the Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil, bake for 20 minutes, remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let rest 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy with 2013 Redemption Zinfandel!