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Hünkârbeğendi beef stew with an eggplant mash

literally, 'the sultan liked it'


  1. Saute the meat, which you have cut into small cubes, over high heat with oil until it is brown on all sides, and then remove it from the pot.

  2. In the same pot, fry the onion and then add the tomato paste and the sugar.

  3. Addd the meat with the onion, mix and add the wine.

  4. As soon as the alcohol evaporates, add the chopped tomato, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, oregano, chili flakes (if you use them) and black pepper. I also add the hot water.

  5. Simmer with the lid closed for about an hour, then add the salt and then simmer for another half an hour. For the last 20 minutes leave the lid ajar. Remove the pot from the heat.

  6. Grill the eggplants until they soften and the skin turns black.

  7. Let them cool and then peel them and puree them in the food processor.

  8. For the béchamel, heat the milk up to 40 degrees , add the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Then leave it aside.

  9. Melt the butter in a large pot and add the flour. Cook it on medium heat until the smell of the flour goes away, being careful not to color it.

  10. Add the milk all together into the flour and butter and raise the temperature, stirring constantly.

  11. As soon as the béchamel boils, reduce the heat and add the eggplant puree and wait until it boils again.

  12. Turn off the heat and add the grated cheese. Stir until it is absorbed. Taste it and adjust the salt and pepper accordingly.

  13. Serve and enjoy it with a glass of dry red wine.


2.5 - 3 kg of eggplants (aubergines)

130-180 g spicy cheese or as much as you like

For the ragu

1,500 g veal or lamb (bite-sized pieces)

6 chopped tomatoes (450 g)

1 1⁄2 tbsp tomato paste (80 g)

2 finely chopped onions (170 g)

200 ml of red wine

60-70ml olive oil

1 small cinnamon stick

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon of sugar

salt, pepper, oregano

1 glass of warm water (150-200 ml)

½ tsp chilli flakes (optional)

For the béchamel

1 liter of milk

100 grams of flour

100 grams of butter

salt and pepper


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