Polenta-Topped Lamb and Eggplant Pie
Greek ingredients flavor this lamb with eggplant and polenta cheese pie.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb, patted dry
- Salt and pepper
- 1 small, firm eggplant, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 fresh red chili pepper (such as Fresno, cherry or finger), seeded and finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cinnamon stick (3 inches)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 4 cups chicken stock (32 ounces), divided
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup quick-cooking polenta
- 1 tablespoons butter, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Pre-heat the broiler.
In a large, deep skillet, heat the EVOO over medium-high heat until the oil ripples. Add the lamb and cook, breaking up the meat with a potato masher or wooden spoon, until well browned; season with salt and pepper. Add the eggplant, onion, chili pepper, garlic, cinnamon stick and oregano; partially cover and cook, stirring, until softened, 7-8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste for 1 minute, then stir in 2 cups chicken stock. Lower the heat and simmer for 7-8 minutes more. Discard the cinnamon stick.
Meanwhile, in a medium size saucepan, bring the remaining 2 cups chicken stock and the milk to a low boil. Whisk in the polenta and cook until thickened, 2-3 minutes; whisk in a little more water to thin the consistency, if desired. Stir in the butter, then the feta.
Spoon the polenta in an even layer onto the meat in the skillet and top with the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Broil for 1 minute to brown.