Chicken Parmigiana is a perennial favourite of most people, and when I spotted this recipe on Mindfood, I thought it would be an interesting variation of the Parmigiana, using pork mince. I also have plenty of eggplants at present so this is another very tasty and economical dish. The original recipe uses beef mince, but I substituted pork mince and used more herbs for flavour. Pork mince is a softer meat than beef, so greater care is needed when cooking the rissoles. What's that saying? Get some pork on your fork!
800g of mince serves 4 and makes 12 rissoles. Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 35-40 minutes
500g lean pork or beef mince (quantities can be increased to 800 g depending on how much eggplant you use.)
1 tblsp oregano, chopped
1 tblsp tarragon, chopped
1 cup grated carrot (optional)
1 cup fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
2 garlic cloves
3 tblsp olive oil
1 very large or 2 smaller eggplants cut into 1 cm slices
500g jar tomato pasta sauce (or use your own)
50g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Steamed greens, asparagus, baby carrots to serve or roasted vegetables
- Preheat the oven to 180degC. Combine the mince with oregano, tarragon, and garlic. Form into 8-12 rissoles, depending on meat quantities, then chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat a char grill or the BBQ to high. Brush the eggplant slices with 2 tbsp of the oil and cook, turning regularly for 2-3 minutes or until well coloured. Line the base of a large roasting dish with the grilled eggplant slices.
- Brush the rissoles with the remaining oil and char grill for 2 minutes on each side until well coloured. (I found it easier to cook the pork rissoles in a non-stick pan over a high heat.) Assemble the rissoles in the roasting dish on top of the grilled eggplant slices, cover with tomato pasta sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the rissoles are cooked through and the cheese and sauce are bubbling. Serve with vegetables.
They taste even better the following day when eaten as leftovers, with a crusty Italian bread roll.