1 shoulder with 1 boned leg of lamb of 1.5 kg cut into small cubes, 6 or 7 long firm aubergines, 50 g of chopped onions, 3 g of chopped garlic, 30 g of flour, 100 g of crushed tomatoes, a mixture of spices composed of 2 teaspoons of cumin, 1 of coriander, 1/2 of ginger, 1 branch of finely chopped tarragon, fresh thyme, 1 cayenne pepper, 1 small piece of crystallised ginger, 1.5 l of white wine, 1 blanched orange and lime rind, 100 g of honey, salt, pepper, olive oil, basil.
In a frying pan with olive oil, sear the chopped onions all over, and then the meat, sprinkle with a pinch of flour, moisten with the white wine. Add the seasoning and chopped rind, the honey and crushed tomatoes, then the chopped garlic. Adjust the seasoning, cook until the meat is tender and completely cooked for 45 mins to 1 hour. At that point, remove the meat and reduce the sauce to three quarters.
In the meantime, slice the aubergines lengthways and brush with olive oil. Brown them under the oven grill, then place them on absorbent paper to remove excess fat.
Garnish the mould with strips of aubergines arranged in a rose pattern, fill with the meat, close the strips well and press down with a plate and weight.
Keep in a cool place overnight.
When it is time for dinner, heat in a double boiler on a low fire for 30 mins and turn out onto an attractive serving dish. Decorate the centre with basil, crushed tomatoes, and top with sauce.
This lamb charlotte has been my favourite dish for many years. It was created one Easter day, the result of a mistake in a recipe. The lamb tian, a little too strong, had become a mild lamb charlotte with aubergines thanks to a skilful blend of spices, echoing distant travels.
Red Hermitage, a tannic wine that is best when left to age.