What’s cooking today: Savoury mince with aubergine, olives and peppers

By Tony Jackman 12 July 2021

Savoury mince with a Spanish and Turkish influence. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

Somewhere between Spanish and Turkish, this dish if cooked gently and slowly attains a delightful sheen and silkiness, thanks chiefly to the aubergine.

Tony Jackman

(Serves 4 if accompanied by rice, mash or couscous, 2 if served alone)


500 g beef mince

1 large onion, sliced thinly

1 aubergine, sliced thinly lengthwise

6 whole pickled garlic cloves

2 red and/or yellow peppers, sliced into julienne strips

10 brined black olives, pitted

3 green chillies, chopped

2 slices back bacon, diced

3 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp green peppercorns

1 x 400 g can chopped tomatoes

1 tsp ground cumin

Salt to taste

Parsley to garnish


Slice the brinjals (aubergines) as thinly as you can, lengthwise, and layer them in a colander, salting both sides of each slice generously. Leave them on the side of the sink for half an hour, then rinse them under running cold water and pat them dry.

In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the onions gently until softened. Add the diced bacon and cook, while stirring, for two or three minutes.

Add the strips of red and yellow peppers, the whole pickled garlic cloves and cook, stirring now and then, for two or three minutes more.

Add the beef mince and work it with a wooden spoon to avoid clumping. Fold and stir the mixture until everything is well combined.

Add the chopped tomatoes, chillies, olives, cumin, green peppercorns and red wine vinegar, season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook gently for about 30 minutes.

Dice the brinjal slices and stir into the mixture. Cook for 10 minutes more or until the brinjals have cooked through and incorporated into the mince.

Check seasoning and adjust salting if needed.

Serve with couscous, rice or mashed potato for supper, or on toast for breakfast. Garnish with chopped parsley. DM/TGIFood 

To enquire about Tony Jackman’s book, foodSTUFF (Human & Rousseau) please email him at [email protected] 

SUBSCRIBE: Our Thank God It’s Food newsletter is sent to subscribers every Friday at 6pm, and published on the TGIFood platform on Daily Maverick. It’s all about great reads on the themes of food and life. Subscribe here.


Comments - share your knowledge and experience

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or sign in if you are already an Insider.

Everybody has an opinion but not everyone has the knowledge and the experience to contribute meaningfully to a discussion. That’s what we want from our members. Help us learn with your expertise and insights on articles that we publish. We encourage different, respectful viewpoints to further our understanding of the world. View our comments policy here.

No Comments, yet


Appeal court confirms Khehla Sitole’s ‘breach of duty’ – his job as head of SAPS now untenable

By Marianne Thamm

"The fall of one regime does not bring in a utopia. Rather, it opens the way for hard work and long efforts to build more just social, economic and political relationships and the eradication of other forms of injustices and oppression." ~ Gene Sharp