Beersaka (serves 4)

from Marsh Mash Autumn 2014

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion – finely chopped
  • Oil for frying
  • 1lb (450g) minced lamb (or beef)
  • 2 tablespoons (20ml) tomato puree
  • Ground chilli and/or garlic (crushed or granules) to taste
  • 500ml bottle of full flavoured, dark beer (I used Theakston Old Peculiar)
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • Salt & pepper
  • 4 small aubergines, thinly sliced (peel if desired) or two large (see method)
  • 4oz (125g) sliced button mushrooms
  • 1oz (28g) butter or margarine
  • 1oz (28g) flour
  • ½ pint (275ml) milk
  • 1 medium egg – beaten
  • 4oz (125g) Strong cheese, grated

Method:

beersaka autumn 2014Reserve ¼ pint (140ml) of the beer for the recipe - the rest is for drinking.

  1. Fry onion in a little oil for 5 minutes, add a little more oil and meat, fry until meat is brown.
  2. Add tomato puree, chilli/garlic (or cheat and use tomato puree with chilli or garlic already added), beer and crumbled stock cube. Season with salt and pepper to taste – stir well.
  3. Gently bring meat to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, fry the aubergines in oil on both sides until golden brown and drain on absorbent kitchen paper – NOTE: if you cannot get young ones, use 2 large, however you may need to peel them and cover slices with salt, leave for 5 minutes then rinse well under running water to draw out the bitterness.
  5. Make the white sauce by gently melting the butter or margarine in a pan over a low heat, remove from heat, add the flour and beat mixture until it forms a ball. Gradually add the milk a little at a time, beating between each addition to avoid lumps. Return pan to the heat and gently heat through, stirring all the time until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and cool for a couple of minutes, then beat in the egg. Finally add salt/pepper to taste. NOTE: or cheat and use a ready-made white or béchamel sauce and heat it through – you will need at least 300ml.
  6. Arrange a layer of aubergines in a large buttered casserole dish, cover with a layer of the meat mix, add a layer of mushrooms (if using), then another layer of aubergines, another layer of meat and finally another layer of aubergines. Pour the white sauce over the Beersaka and bake in the centre of a pre-heated oven at 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 for 30-40 minutes, until brown.
  7. Once cooked, turn oven off and remove Beersaka - cover top with grated cheese then return to oven for 10 minutes to melt cheese. NOTE: For a crispier top, add cheese and place under a hot grill until it bubbles.

Enjoy your Beersaka with a green salad and crusty bread or vegetables and of course – a tasty beer!

 

Shirley Johnson

AFRM Branch Member