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Tough day? Put down the take-away menu and throw this easy, health-conscious, totally affordable dinner together instead. Stick it in the oven and you can watch Ray Donovan (if you must) while it cooks.

Brinjal-and-mince bake

Recipe by: Phillippa Cheifitz

Serves: 4 to 6
Carb-conscious, dairy-free, health-conscious
Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 1¼ hours

4 Woolworths exotic brinjals
1⁄3 cup olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
500 g free-range beef or venison mince
1 x 400 g can Italian tomatoes in juice
1 t dried oregano
1 cup good-quality beef stock
½ cup grated Parmesan, for sprinkling
cooked rice or risoni, for serving
baby spinach leaves, to garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Thinly slice the brinjals lengthways, then place in a bowl and mix by hand with the olive oil. Arrange in a single layer on baking sheets and bake for 15 minutes, or until tender. Season lightly.

2. Meanwhile, gently cook the onion in 2 T olive oil, then stir in the garlic. Increase the heat and add the mince. Keep stirring to break up the mince until the meat changes colour.

3. Crush the tomatoes using a potato masher, then add to the meat with the oregano and season to taste. Add the stock, cover and reduce the heat. Simmer, stirring now and again, for 40 minutes, or until very tender. Check the seasoning.

4. Remove the mince using a slotted spoon and set aside. Reduce the cooking liquid over a high heat until thick.

5. Increase the oven’s temperature to 200°C. To assemble, place a layer of brinjal – about a third – in a 1-litre oiled baking dish. Cover with a layer of mince. Repeat with the remaining brinjals and mince. Spoon over the reduced cooking liquid and sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake for 20 minutes, or until browned.

6. Serve with rice or risoni and garnish with baby spinach.

For more easy midweek recipes and mince specials, visit www.woolworths.co.za

Read more on:    woolworths  |  cnn  |  mince

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