Yield: 8 servings
Time: 2 hours
- 2 large eggplants
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 lbs ground bison, lean
- 2 large onions, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
- 1/2 cup good red wine (I used a pinot noir)
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 3/4 TBSP ground cinnamon
- salt and pepper
- 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 1 cup grated aged Parmesan
- Cooking spray
For the bechamel sauce:
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/3 cup AP flour
- 4 cups 2% milk
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 cups 2% cottage cheese
- 1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- Slice the eggplants into 1/2 inch slices; lay on paper towels and sprinkle with salt; allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Heat a few TBSP of oil over med-high heat.
- Wipe salt off and dry eggplant slices then fry until browned and softening; do in batches adding more oil as needed. Drain on paper towels after each batch.
- Hold cooked eggplant for assembly of casserole and meanwhile heat remaining oil over medium heat.
- Add onions and cook until translucent.
- Add ground bison and cook until no longer pink.
- Add garlic and cook 1 minute.
- Add wine, tomato paste, cinnamon, salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add parsley.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Spray 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Sprinkle half the breadcrumbs over the bottom of dish.
- Layer half the eggplant, then half the meat, then half the Parmesan.
- Repeat layering, breadcrumbs, eggplant, meat, Parmesan.
- Make sauce by melting butter over medium heat.
- Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute.
- Pour in milk, whisking continuously until very thick.
- Remove from heat.
- Slowly whisk in eggs, cottage cheese and nutmeg.
- Pour sauce over casserole, smooth top if needed.
- Bake for 1 hour or until browned.
- Cool for 10 minutes and serve.