Delicious comfort food at it’s best, a paleo take on a Greek classic baked dish (albeit slightly bastardised). Prepare this dish for a week’s worth of lunches, or feed a family of 8!
- 1kg beef mince*
- 1 1/5 onions, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 eggplant, sliced
- 1 sweet potato, peeled & sliced
- 2 capsicums, sliced
- 8 medium mushrooms, peeled & sliced
- 3 parsnips, peeled
- 1/4 cauliflower
- 1 leek, sliced
- cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3 cans of whole peeled tomatoes (roma)
- 1 tsp white peppercorns, whole
- 1 tbsp sweet paprika
- 2 bay leaves
- salt & pepper to taste
- Olive oil
- 1 cup of fresh herbs: oregano, parsley, basil, roughly chopped
- 3/4 cup white wine (optional)
Preheat oven to 180C.
Prep vegetables ready for cooking. We’d recommend slicing everything fairly thin – about 3mm thick so you can get a lot of layers.
In a large pan, cook chopped onion and garlic until soft. Add in mince and brown off with paprika, salt and pepper to taste. (You don’t want the dish to turn too wet so you might want to pour out any excess fat/liquid during cooking the mince.) Transfer into a bowl to wait on the side.
( This step is outside paleo and can be skipped: Deglaze pan with white wine and reduce.) Pour in canned tomatoes, add white peppercorns, bay leaves, half of the herbs and reduce further.
In a large oiled baking tray, begin layering ingredients. We started with sweet potato and zucchini to fill the gaps, followed by a thin layer of mince, sauce and mushrooms. Begin again with eggplant, zucchini, capsicum, mince, etc until the tray is 3/4 full, finishing with sauce on top. While layering, keep pressing the layers down firmly.
Put cauliflower and parsnips through a food processor to get an even crumble. Combine the crumble with sliced leek in a bowl. And spread over the dish as the top layer. Garnish with halved cherry tomatoes, and herbs. Drizzle liberally with olive oil and finish off with cracked pepper.
Cover the tray with aluminium foil and bake for 40 minutes.
Remove foil and bake for a further 20 minutes at 220C or until surface is golden brown.
Serve with fresh greens and herbs.
(* Please note: this version of the dish is very much vegetable heavy. If you wish to make it a bit more meaty, add more mince and reduce vegetable layers.)