2 tablespoons chopped fresh mixed herbs, or 2 teaspoons dried
salt and pepper to taste
Gluten free bechamel
1L semi-skimmed milk
35g unsalted butter
25g gluten free plain flour
100g Parmesan cheese, grated
whole nutmeg, for grating
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Method Prep:25min › Cook:1hr › Ready in:1hr25min
Preheat your oven to 200 C / Gas 6.
Firstly you will need to boil the lentils for 10 to 15 minutes, then drain and set aside.
Rub the slices of aubergine with a little of the oil. Fry them in a dry frying pan for 1-2 minutes per side and set aside.
Meanwhile, take 2 tablespoons of the oil and gently fry the onion until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
Now add the carrot and the celery and cook for 6 to 8 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove veg from the pan and set aside.
Add the remaining oil to the pan and on medium high heat quickly brown the venison mince. This will take no more than 5 minutes.
Chuck the veg mix back into the pan followed by a large glass of robust red wine. Bubble off the alcohol and then add a tin of plum tomatoes (see notes), then add the chopped herbs, stir and season (see notes).
Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Pop the lid on and let cook for 15 minutes, giving it a stir half way through. Take the lid off and let it cook for another 15 minutes, stirring occassionally.
During this time you can make your bechamel sauce. Place the milk, butter and flours in a medium pan over a low heat. Heat gently, whisking continuously for 12 to 15 minutes, or until thickened. Grate in three-quarters of the Parmesan and a good grating of nutmeg. Season to taste, then set aside.
After the second 15 minutes of cooking the sauce add the cooked lentils and simmer for a further 10 minutes.
Now you are ready to assemble the bake.
First place half of the venison and lentil sauce in the bottom of an 18cm x 25cm oven proof dish. Next layer half of the aubergine followed by a layer of the bechamel. Repeat all 3 layers and top with a sprinkling of Parmesan.
Pop in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes until golden and bubbling.
Leave to cool down for 5 minutes and serve with a green salad.
Use tins of whole plum tomatoes as opposed to chopped, we find the quality of tomatoes are much better. Just break up the whole tomatoes with your spoon when you add them to the mix.
For the herbs we use a mix of whatever we have in the garden. Generally more robust ones such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, marjoram. Dried Italian herbs will work just as well.