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  • 1 medium eggplant (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • Salt
  • 5 Russet potatoes (about 3 1/2 pounds) peeled and each cut into 6 cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground lamb or beef
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano or marjoram, finely chopped OR 1 teaspoon dried oregano or marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • A pinch ground cinnamon
  • Pepper
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • About 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup crème fraiche
  • About 1/3 cup whole milk
  • About 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg, to taste
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 cups (about 6 ounces) grated Gruyère
  • About 1/1 cup (about 2 ounces) grated Parmigiano–Reggiano


Serves: 6


Position a rack in the center of the oven; preheat the broiler.

Peel the skin off of two sides of the eggplant and trim off the top. Slice lengthwise into long, thin planks about 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick then dice into small pieces.

Arrange in a single layer on a kitchen towel and sprinkle with salt.

Place the cubed potatoes in a medium pot and add enough cold water to cover by an inch. Bring to a boil, salt the water and cook until tender, 10-12 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil, two turns of the pan, over medium- high to high. Add the meat and cook until browned, breaking it up with a spoon, about 5-6 minutes. Add the oregano or marjoram, crushed red pepper, bay leaf, allspice and cinnamon; season with salt and pepper.

Pat the eggplant dry and add to the meat along with the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, 7-8 minutes.  Add the tomato paste; stir one minute. Add the wine and stir until evaporated, about a minute. Add the stock, reduce heat to low and simmer until the meat mixture thickens, about 3 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and return them to the hot pot. Add in the crème fraîche and milk; mash until smooth. Add the nutmeg and season. Stir in the egg yolk.

Discard the bay leaf from the meat mixture and transfer to a medium casserole dish. Top with the mashed potatoes and smooth the top with a spatula. Sprinkle with cheeses and broil until browned and bubbling, 3-4 minutes. Serve from the dish into shallow bowls.