Our Beef, Roasted Red Pepper, and Eggplant Bake is bursting with flavor! With a little bit of prep, this nightshade veggies casserole is incredibly simple to make. The best part? It brings a whole lot of restaurant sophistication (and nutrients!) to your dining room table. Shall we?
Are you looking for a beef casserole with the tastiest, most nutritious nightshade veggies? Look no further, because our family casserole will knock you off your feet!
This eggplant bake with oven baked red peppers is a perfect option for those of us who want to incorporate more beef into our diet, but in the right way. (And the right way, of course, is with loads of vegetables!)
The recipe does require a little bit of time (and some easy, parallel, steps), but it's worth it. You won't believe just how good this dish is!
To summarize, this casserole includes crispy and soft eggplants and slightly smokey, sweet peppers providing the aroma and tender falling-off-the-fork taste. On the other end we have a very tasty beef simmered in a typically Balkan mirepoix of onion, carrot, and parsley, that perfectly connects all the flavors together.
And you know the best thing about our oven-baked red pepper, eggplant, and beef recipe? The leftovers are even tastier the next day!
Below are the ingredients for our nightshade veggies casserole with beef.
Red peppers - bull's horn red peppers (sweet) usually used for Balkan ajvar are the best choice, but red bell peppers are a great substitution.
Eggplants - look for the deep purple kind.
Oil - vegetable, sunflower, avocado, or coconut oil work well.
Beef - round, chuck, sirloin, or brisket. (Avoid parts that are too tender from the start as they'll make the meat chewy instead of soft.) Veal is also a great choice!
Balkan mirepoix - onion, carrots, garlic, and parsley is the base for this simmering mix. You can make it french by substituting celery for parsley.
Butter - regular butter or lard.
Seasonings - again, the usual Balkan mix of pepper, salt, and Vegeta (or bouillon cube, stock powder, or similar). Since the nightshade veggies are already flavorsome you don't need many herbs and seasonings. However, feel free to make your own mix and experiment.
Here are the instructions on how to make our red pepper, eggplant, and beef bake.
Step 1. Roast peppers.
Step 2. Peel, dice, and salt eggplant.
Step 3. Simmer mirepoix. Add meat and seasonings. Grease the baking pan with butter. Transfer everything to the pan.
Step 4. Take peppers out of the oven into a plastic bag. Pat eggplant dry. Fry eggplant. Peel and deseed peppers.
Step 5. Layer eggplant over meat. Layer peppers over eggplant. Top with garlic. Cover with foil and pierce the foil. Bake.
Serving: serve by itself or with a side. Side ideas include polenta, mashed potatoes, rice, pasta, and quinoa.
Storing: store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to two days. Do not freeze! This roasted red pepper, eggplant, and beef casserole tastes even better the following day.
Reheating: reheat using your favorite method. Add ¼ cup of water to the pan if necessary.
Although the source of the name is not confirmed, it's probably because these flavorsome veggies flourish and bloom during the night, and in the shade.
More or less. A bake is a more general term describing ingredients baked in the oven in a small amount of liquid. A casserole is a more complex dish, consisting of several layers. However, the terms are used interchangeably.
Yes. Browning the meat really seals in the flavors and juices. However, don't do it for a long time, a few minutes are enough.
The beef casserole is baked in the oven. Meanwhile, beef stew is cooked on a stovetop, an Instant pot, or a slow cooker.
- Easy Meat Sauce
- Bamija: Traditional Okra and Veal Sauce
- Boranija: Romano Bean Veal Stew
- Mushroom Goulash
- Pan Fried Liver and Onions
Beef, Roasted Red Pepper, and Eggplant Bake
- 3-4 red bell peppers large
- 2 eggplants medium to large, peeled, cut into rounds
- 4-5 tablespoons salt to draw the eggplant liquid out
- 6-8 tablespoons vegetable oil (divided) or coconut, sunflower, and avocado oils
- 1 onion medium, diced per your preference
- 2 carrots medium, diced per your preference
- 4-5 strands parsley smaller, minced small
- 1 pound beef or veal cut into chunks, round, chuck, sirloin, or brisket
- 2 tablespoons butter diced
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon Vegeta or stock powder or your own seasoning mix
- 4-5 garlic cloves peeled, whole
- Heat oven to 480°F (250°C). Place peppers on foil and roast for 25-30 minutes (or until ready), turning occasionally as the peppers start to get charred.
- While the peppers are roasting, sprinkle salt over eggplant rounds on both sides. Leave them to sweat out the bitterness while you make the beef.
- In a deep skillet, heat about 4 teaspoons of oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, and parsley and simmer until the onion is translucent (about 5-6 minutes). Add meat and seasonings and simmer for another 10 minutes or so (add a pinch of water if necessary). Meanwhile, take your casserole pan and spread butter pieces on the bottom of it. When the meat (together with onion, carrot, and parsley) is done simmering, transfer it to the pan, spreading it evenly.
- Take peppers out of the oven, and seal them in a plastic bag for a few minutes. Meanwhile, pat dry the eggplant with a paper towel. Add the remaining oil to the skillet and brown eggplant on all sides for about 7-10 minutes on medium, watching that it doesn't burn. Depending on the size of your skillet you may have to do it in batches. While the eggplant is frying, peel and deseed the peppers.
- Layer finished eggplant over the meat in the casserole. Top everything with peppers and garnish with a few whole garlic cloves. Cover the dish with foil and pierce several holes using a toothpick or a fork.
- Bake the casserole at 390-430°F (200-220°C) on the medium rack for 45 minutes. At this point, uncover and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes.
- Serving: serve by itself or with a side. Side ideas include polenta, mashed potatoes, rice, pasta, and quinoa. Storing: store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to two days. Do not freeze! This roasted red pepper, eggplant, and beef casserole tastes even better the following day. Reheating: reheat using your favorite method. Add ¼ cup of water to the pan if necessary.
- Prep and Cook Time
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