Moussaka

A great Greek classic, this is timeless comfort food.

Moussaka is the best known of all Greek foods. Greeks believe that moussaka was introduced when the Arabs brought the eggplant, although Arabs, especially in Lebanon, think of the dish as a Greek dish. Moussaka is also found in Turkey.

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp (45ml) olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) cumin
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) chopped oreganum
  • 3 tbsp (45ml) chopped thyme
  • 2 tsp (10ml) chopped rosemary
  • 3 tbsp (45ml) tomato paste
  • 400g each minced lamb and beef
  • 2/5 cup (100ml) white or red wine (whichever you prefer)
  • 3 tbsp (45ml) vinegar
  • 1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) beef stock
  • 2 tsp (10ml) sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3-4 large brinjals (eggplant)
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) butter
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) flour
  • 2.25 cups (600ml) milk
  • 2/5 cup (100ml) parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • Salt and milled pepper
  • 2 extra large eggs, beaten

Method:

  • Preheat overn to 200ºC.
  • Heat 2 tbsp (30ml) oil in a saucepan and sauté onion, garlic, cumin, oreganum, thyme and rosemary until just beginning to brown.
  • Add tomato paste, lamb and beef mince and fry over high heat for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add wine, vinegar, tomatoes, stock, sugar and cinnamon and simmer for 30-40 minutes.
  • Slice brinjals lengthways to a thickness of about 1cm.
  • Heat remaining oil and fry brinjal slices until tender and lightly colored on each side.

White Sauce:

  • Melt butter in a non-stick pan, add flour and cook over a medium heat for a minute.
  • Gradually whisk in milk and simmer, stirring continuously for about 10-20 minutes or until thickened.
  • Stir in cheese and seasoning.
  • Cool slightly and beat in eggs.

Construct:

  • Layer the base of a 2.75L ovenproof dish with white sauce followed by a layer of brinjals, then lamb and beef mix (remove cinnamon stick).
  • Finish with a top layer of white sauce and bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden and bubbling.
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