|3 large eggplants (about 1 ½ lbs)||2 large onions, quartered and thinly sliced|
|Sea salt||2 large cloves garlic, ﬁnely chopped|
|½ cup small dark seedless raisins||2 ½ lbs ripe tomatoes, peeled and|
|1/3 cup aged red-wine vinegar||diced, juices reserved|
|3 ½ lbs boneless leg of lamb||Cracked black pepper to taste|
|½ cup Kalamata olive oil||1 Tbs ground cinnamon, to taste|
|1 Tbs honey|
|1 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley||1 Tbs small capers, rinsed, optional|
1. Trim off the ends of the eggplants and cut into 1 ½ inch cubes. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons salt and set aside for 30 minutes to sweat.
2. Combine the raisins and vinegar in a nonreactive bowl and set aside. Trim off all fat and sinew from the lamb and cut it into 1 ½ inch cubes.
3. Heat oven to 350°F.
4. Heat ¼ cup of the olive oil in a large heavy skillet and lightly brown half the lamb over medium heat. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a heavy casserole. Repeat with the remaining lamb.
5. Reduce the heat under the skillet to low and saute the onion until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, stir well, and transfer in the casserole.
6. Dry the eggplant thoroughly with paper towels, wipe out the skillet, set it over medium-low heat, and add 2 tablespoons of the remaining olive oil. Add half the eggplant and fry until deep golden brown on all sides, about 12 minutes. Drain on paper towels and add to the casserole. Repeat with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and remaining eggplant.
7. Add the tomatoes and their juices, honey, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of the cinnamon and the raisins and vinegar to casserole. Add ¼ cup water, cover, and bake 1 hour.
8. Season the sauce with salt, pepper, and additional cinnamon to taste. There should be about 1 1/2 cups of sauce – if there is more, leave the casserole uncovered, if less, add a few tablespoons water and cover – bake 30 minutes longer.
9. Chop the parsley and capers together just to mix. Serve the lamb hot or warm, piled high in a shallow serving bowl, with the parsley mixture sprinkled on top.
Flavors of Greece