Kalogeros, named for a mountain peak on Naxos, is one of the island’s traditional recipes.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 2 large eggplants, peeled and cut into ¼-inch (6 mm) rounds
- 2 pounds (900 g) boneless veal shoulder or beef chuck or shoulder, cut into ½-inch (1.5 cm) thick slices
- All-purpose flour, for dredging
- ¾ cup (180 ml) extra-virgin Greek olive oil, plus more as needed
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- 1 cup (240 ml) canned crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup (240 ml) dry white wine
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 ounces (170 g) Greek feta or local soft sour myzithra cheese, crumbled
- 2 ripe but firm large tomatoes, cut into very thin rounds
- 4 ounces (115 g) Graviera Naxos or Gruyère cheese
How to Make It
- Layer the eggplant slices in a colander, sprinkling each layer with salt. Set the colander in the sink, place a plate over the eggplant slices and a weight (such as a large can of tomatoes) on top, and let sit for 30 minutes. Dredge the veal in the flour. In a large skillet, heat ½ cup (120 ml) of the olive oil over medium heat and add the veal and cook, turning, until browned on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add the onions, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring, until the onions soften, about 8 minutes. Place the meat over the onions. Add the crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add the wine. As soon as it steams up, add the bay leaves, cinnamon, and enough water to cover by 1 inch (2.5 cm). Season with salt and pepper. Cover, bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 1½ hours, until the veal is very tender.
- While the veal cooks, rinse the eggplants very well, drain, and blot dry on paper towels. In a large skillet, heat the remaining ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil over medium heat. Add the eggplant and cook, turning with tongs, until lightly browned and tender. Preheat the broiler with a rack positioned 8 inches (20 c) from the heat. Brush the eggplants with olive oil and place in an oiled baking pan. Broil, turning once, until soft. Remove and drain on paper towels.
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Lightly oil a glass baking dish large enough to hold the eggplant and veal slices. Place the eggplant pieces in one layer on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Place the veal in one layer over the eggplant and sprinkle with the feta. Spread a layer of tomato rounds over the feta. Top with the Graviera. Pour the skillet juices and sauce over the top and bake for about 15 minutes, until the cheeses melt. Remove from the oven and serve.