1⁄2 cup (125 ml) olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 kg beef cheeks
1 cup (250 ml) white wine
1 cup (250 ml) puréed tomato
2 bay leaves
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
4 cups (1 litre) water
2 large eggplants
freshly milled sea salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 Preheat oven to 160°C.
2 Heat half the olive oil in a heavy-based flameproof casserole dish on the stovetop and sauté onion and garlic until onion is translucent. Add beef and brown lightly on all sides. Add wine and simmer until mostly evaporated. Add puréed tomato, herbs, spices and water, then stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
3 Put the lid on the casserole dish and bake for 2 hours. (Alternatively, cook for 1 hour in a pressure cooker on the stovetop.)
4 Meanwhile, cut eggplant into large cubes, sprinkle all over with salt and leave in a colander for 20 minutes. Rinse under cold running water and dry on kitchen paper.
5 Heat remaining olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and fry eggplant until lightly browned. Drain on kitchen paper.
6 When beef has been cooking for 2 hours, remove from oven and add eggplant with another 1–2 cups (250–500 ml) water (as required). Season with salt and pepper then return to oven and bake for another 30 minutes.
7 When serving, pull beef cheeks apart into 6–8 portions
8 Serve on mashed potato or rice, or with a green salad as a low-carb option.
Recipes and images from The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook by Dr Catherine Itsiopoulos, RRP $34.99, Macmillan Australia.