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Moussaka

May 5, 2014 by: Zoe Vlachos Beef ,Casserole

Moussaka is a well loved Greek dish by many- and my personal favourite! What makes this dish so unique is the layers of different flavours and textures. There are several steps, however, it’s worth the work, I promise!

Servings: 6-8

Working from the bottom up, you will need:

Layer 1 – Potato 

  • 4-5 medium size Yukon potatoes peeled and sliced in 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • a pinch of salt and cracked black pepper

Layer 2- Meat Sauce

  • 2 pounds ground beef or lamb
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cinnamon sticks or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 cloves
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 6 ripe Roma tomatoes, diced (or 1 can of diced tomatoes 796ml)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt to taste

Layer 3- Eggplant

  • 4 long Asian Eggplants sliced lengthwise 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • a pinch of salt and cracked pepper

Layer 4- Béchamel Sauce

  • 1/2 cup of salted butter
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups of warmed milk
  • 3/4 cup of parmesan or mizithra cheese
  • 3 beaten eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of cracked black pepper
  • pinch of nutmeg (optional)
  • 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs to sprinkle over the assembled moussaka

Directions:

Layer 1 – Potato 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Brush potato slices on both sides with olive oil and arrange in a single layer on rimmed baking sheet.  Season with salt and pepper. Roast until soft starting to brown.

Layer 2- Meat Sauce

In a large, heavy bottom pot heat oil over medium- high heat. Add the ground meat and sauté, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Add onion, garlic, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaf. Saute until onion has softened, then add the dry red wine. Cook for a couple of minutes and then add the diced tomatoes. Lower the heat to medium, season with salt and pepper and cover.  Simmer until sauce has reduced and thickened and stir in the parsley.  Remember to discard the bay leaf and cloves.

mousaka-groundbeef

 

Layer 3- Eggplant 

Brush eggplant slices on both sides with olive oil and arrange in a single layer on rimmed baking sheet.  Season with salt and pepper. Roast in a 400 degrees F. until soft starting to brown.

mousaka-eggplant

 

Layer 4- Béchamel Sauce

In a large, heavy pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk to a very crumbly roux. Whisk vigorously while slowly pouring the warm milk into the pot. When the mixture is smooth and thick, whisk the cheese and pepper in. If including nutmeg, you can add that at this time as well.  Remove the pot from the heat and whisk the beaten eggs into the sauce.

mousaka-bechamel

 

Assembling the Moussaka

In a large casserole layer your moussaka. The potatoes, meat sauce, eggplant and lastly the béchamel sauce.  Finally sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the moussaka and bake uncovered at 400 degrees F. until golden.

 

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