Pastelón de Berenjenas con Carne (Dominican Eggplant Casserole), photo by Suellen Pineda, RDN, CDNPhoto by Suellen Pineda, RDN, CDN

Pastelón de Berenjenas con Carne (Dominican Eggplant Casserole)

Cuisine: Dominican
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 9 servings

Pastelón is for Dominicans what a layered casserole or lasagna-like dish is for the rest of the world.  The uniqueness about pastelón is how versatile it can be! You can make it with sweet plantains, yuca (cassava), eggplant and more.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef (Look for 93-95% lean)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and minced
  • 1 small green bell pepper finely chopped
  • 1 4-oz can tomato sauce (not tomato paste)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 medium-size eggplants thinly sliced lengthwise
  • cup mozzarella cheese shredded
  • salt and pepper to taste

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven at 375°F. Season ground beef with salt, pepper and cumin.
  2. In a large skillet or medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  3. Add meat and cook until slightly brown and liquid has evaporated.
  4. Add onions, cook for about 3-4 minutes.
  5. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute, stirring constantly.
  6. Add tomato sauce, basil, oregano and water.
  7. Lower the heat and cook uncovered until sauce has thickened. (About 10 minutes.)
  8. Remove from heat and reserve.
  9. Line up a single layer of sliced eggplant on a previously oiled rectangular ceramic or ovenproof dish.
  10. Cover eggplant uniformly with meat. Sprinkle shredded cheese. Continue layering with the rest of eggplant, sauce and cheese.
  11. Cover with foil and bake for about 40 minutes. Then remove foil and cook under broiler until cheese is bubbly and slightly golden brown.

Chef Notes

Serve with a light tossed salad.

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