Tomato-braised beef is topped with eggplant and cheese for this deliciously simple no-crust pie.
½ cup olive oil, plus extra if needed
1kg beef chuck, cut into 5cm pieces
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
1 brown onion, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 x 400g cans diced tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
250ml red wine
1 tsp salt, plus extra to season the eggplant
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp dried oregano
2 large eggplants, cut into 1cm rounds
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
½ cup loosely packed basil leaves, to serve
1. Heat your oven to 180C fan-forced (200C conventional).
2. Heat some of the oil in a large chef pan or baking dish over medium heat and brown the beef well. Remove from the pan.
3. Add a little more oil if necessary and fry the carrot, celery and onion for about 8 minutes, then add the garlic and fry for a further 2 minutes.
4. Return the beef to the pan and add the tomato paste, tomatoes, wine, salt, sugar and oregano and about 2 cups of water. Cover and transfer to the oven for about 1 hour, then uncover and cook a further 30 to 60 minutes until the mixture is thick and the beef is tender. Shred the beef with two forks to break it up a little, but it doesn't need to be shredded to a complete ragu.
5. While the beef is cooking, heat a large frying pan over medium heat, add some more oil and fry the eggplant in batches on both sides until golden, seasoning with salt as they fry. You may need to add extra oil.
6. Place the eggplant slices on top of the beef so they slightly overlap and bake for 20 minutes, then scatter with the cheese and grill for about 10 minutes, until browned. Allow to stand for 15 minutes, then scatter with basil leaves to serve.
Find more of Adam Liaw's recipes in the Good Food New Classics cookbook.