This tasty and cheesy Pastelón or Lasagna de Berenjenas (Beef and Eggplant Casserole) does not contain pasta but uses eggplant in its place.
The first time I served this to my husband, he was convinced it was a Greek moussaka. A multi-cultural family means discovering new things often, in his case, that similar dishes can appear in different countries independent of each other.
This is one of my favorite pastelones, mostly because I love eggplants, but also because I love cheese, and boy, is there cheese in this. Layers upon layers. Welcome cheese lovers!
About this recipe
There are many ways to make lasaña or pastelón de berenjena con carne. Some people fry the eggplants beforehand. I prefer not to do it, but there is a step to pre-cook the eggplant wich uses much less oil than frying it.
Another deviation from some Dominican versions is that I used two types of mozzarella, in the order in which they shine best. The layers of low-moisture mozzarella (I used a bag of pre-grated mozzarella) are better within layers of berenjena, as they do not add more liquid to an already water-rich vegetable. For the top I used fresh mozarella that will turn bubbly in the last stage of cooking.
For this I used our tradtional minced beef filling, but if you're a vegetarian, you'll love to combine it with our vegan mince, or try our meatless eggplant casserole. Whichever filling your choose, have it ready before starting this recipe.
Try it, you'll love it!
[Recipe + Video] Pastelón or Lasana de Berenjenas (Beef and Eggplant Casserole)
- Prepping eggplants: Wash the eggplants. Score the skin with a sharp knife (see notes). Slice very them very thinly.
- Pan-frying eggplants: Brush a frying pan with oil. Heat over medium-high heat.Cook slices of eggplant for two minutes. Flip and cook on the other side for two minutes.Repeat with all the slices, lightly brushing the pan with oil every time you add more eggplants.
- Layering: Brush a lasagna pan with oil. Cover with a layer of tomato sauce. Cover with ¼ of the eggplant slices, arranging them to cover the bottom of the baking pan. Cover the eggplant with a layer of ¼ of the grated mozzarella, and follow by another ¼ of eggplant slices. Top with another layer of mozzarellaAdd the meat in one layer, distribute evenly and press down with the back of a spoon. Top the meat with a layer of ¼ grated mozzarella.Add a layer of ¼ of the eggplant slices, top with mozzarella, then the last quarter of the eggplant slices.
- Baking: Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Bake in preheated oven at 300 ºF (150 ºC) for 30 minutes.Carefully remove from the oven and remove the foil (use tongs to prevent the steam from burning you).Crumble the mozzarella with your fingers and layer on top. Return to the oven (uncovered) for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and melted.
- Serving: Remove from the oven and cut with a sharp knife into six equal pieces.Serve with salad.