Homemade Greek Moussaka.
2 large eggplants, about 4 lbs total
1 lb. potatoes
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 lb ground beef (or lamb)
1 large can of tomato sauce
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 stick of cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup flour
3 cups milk
1 1/2 cups Parmesan, grated
1 tsp nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1. Slice the eggplant in to 1/2 inch slices. Place the eggplant slices in a colander and salt them liberally.
2. Cover them with an inverted plate that is weighted down by a heavy can or jar.
3. Place the colander in the sink so that excess moisture can be drawn out, for at least an hour.
4. Heat 1/4 cup oil in pan. Fry the eggplant slices without over crowding the pan for 2 to 4 mins on each side. Set aside.
5. Peel the potatoes and boil them whole until they are just done. They should not get too soft, just cooked enough so that they no longer crunch.
6. Drain, cool and slice them in 1/4 inch slices. Set aside.
1. In a large saute pan, brown the ground beef (or lamb) until the pink color disappears.
2. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes, then add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
3. Add cinnamon stick, bay leaf, cloves and tomato sauce to the meat.
4. Allow the sauce to simmer uncovered for approximately 15 minutes so that excess liquid can evaporate. (It should be a drier, chunkier, tomato sauce.)
5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. Remove bay leaf, cloves and cinnamon stick from the meat sauce once cooked. Then set meat sauce aside.
1. Heat 1 cup of oil. Using a whisk, add flour to the oil whisking continuously to make a smooth paste. Allow the flour to cook for a minute but do not allow it to brown.
2. Add 1 cup of grated cheese, whisk continuously to make the mixture a smooth paste again.
3. Add warmed milk to mixture in a steady stream, whisking continuously.
4. Simmer over low heat until it thickens a bit but does not boil.
5. Remove from heat, and stir in eggs, nutmeg and pinch of salt. Return to heat and stir until sauce thickens.
Assembling the Moussaka
1. Lightly grease a large deep baking pan (lasagna pan). Leaving a 1/4 inch space around the edges of the pan, place a layer of potatoes on the bottom. Top with a layer of eggplant slices.
2. Add meat sauce on top of eggplant layer and sprinkle with 1/4 of the grated cheese. Top with another layer of eggplant slices and sprinkle once again with 1/4 of the grated cheese.
3. Pour the bechamel sauce over the eggplant and be sure to allow sauce to fill the sides and corners of the pan.
4. Smooth the bechamel on top with a spatula.
5. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until bechamel sauce is a nice golden brown color. Allow to cool for 15–20 minutes before slicing and serving.
* Makes about 10 servings.
** I used ground beef in my recipe, instead of lamb.
*** Butter can be used instead of vegetable oil for the bechamel sauce.
**** Moussaka can be made without the meat by replacing it with zucchini, turning it into a vegetarian dish.
***** Dish can be made ahead of time, excluding the bechamel sauce which needs to be made right before baking.
LET ME KNOW IF YOU MAKE THE RECIPE AND HOW IT TURNS OUT FOR YOU.
IF YOU RUN INTO ANY TROUBLE WHILE MAKING IT OR HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, COMMENTS OR CONCERNS, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO MESSAGE ME!