Prep 60 mins
Cooking 45 - 60 mins
Serves 6

Our new Cape Herb & Spice Smokehouse BBQ Rub is not just a winner as a rub for any kind of red meat, chicken or pork, it also gives a fabulous flavour boost to pies, oven bakes and casseroles. The classical Greek dish, moussaka, is the inspiration for this Cape Herb & Spice Smokehouse BBQ Rub and aubergine bake.


  • 6 lrg aubergines / brinjals
  • olive oil, for frying
  • 1 lrg carrot
  • third of a cup butter
  • 1 lrg onion
  • third of a cup cake flour
  • 1 stick celery
  • 3 cups hot milk
  • 1 x 70g tin of tomato paste
  • third of a cup grated mature cheddar cheese
  • 500g lamb mince
  • third of a cup grated mature parmesan cheese
  • 2 fat cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 eggs yolks, whisked
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • extra grated parmesan


Start off by slicing the aubergines into 1cm thick slices, place in a colander and sprinkle liberally with salt. Allow to stand for half an hour.

Finely chop the carrot, onion and celery. (To speed things up, simply roughly dice the veggies, then let your food processor do the hard work for you!) Fry the chopped veggies in a tablespoon of olive oil for five minutes. Add the tomato paste and garlic and fry for a further minute or two. Now add the lamb mince and Cape Herb & Spice Smokehouse BBQ Rub and fry until the mince starts to brown. Add half a cup of water, turn the heat as low as possible, pop a lid on and cook the mince for at least half an hour. Check from time to time to see if it needs a splash more water, but don’t add too much, you do not want sloppy mince at the end of the cooking time – it needs to be quite dry. Taste and adjust salt levels as required.

While mince cooks, prepare the aubergines and cheese sauce. The salt will have drawn quite a bit of liquid from the aubergines. Use a tea towel to pat the aubergine slices dry. Brown the aubergine slices in batches in olive oil using a non-stick pan. (Cook’s tip: Aubergines are eager little sponges and will pretty much suck up as much oil as you allow them to. If you want to limit the amount of oil you use, don’t add the olive oil to the pan. Rather brush the aubergine slices with the oil.)

To make the cheese sauce, start with a simple roux. Just add butter and flour to a large saucepan, place over low heat and stir until butter and flour has combined. Now ladle hot milk in and whisk briskly with a balloon whisk to prevent lumps. Cook over low heat for five minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened. Add the grated cheddar and parmesan and stir until cheese has melted into the sauce. Taste and add a grinding of black pepper and salt – how much salt is needed depends on how salty the cheese you use is. Remove from heat and allow sauce to cool to the point where it is comfortable for you to stick a finger in. Now briskly stir in whisked egg yolks and you’re done. Time for layering your lamb and aubergine bake.

Start by placing a layer of aubergines in an oven-safe dish. Spoon over half of the lamb mince. Cover with another layer of aubergine slices. Spoon over the other half of the mince. Finish with a final layer of aubergines. Cover this final layer with the cheese sauce and pop it in a preheated 170 ˚C oven for 45-60 minutes until golden brown. Allow this bake to stand for five minutes before you dish up.


Recipe concept & photography by Lizet Hartley.

Lizet Hartley is a freelance stills and reel food stylist, food photographer and recipe developer. In her spare time she – rather predictably – cooks. Get more of her recipes on her blog at