This entry is filed under Meat Recipes.


smacks of the Mediterranean

Moussaka with it’s layers of savoury lamb and aubergines, topped with a creamy béchamel custard, is probably the most famous dish ever to come out of Greece where it’s affectionately known as a national treasure.

You’ll find various interpretations throughout southeastern Europe and the Middle East, which probably with it’s arabic name is where moussaka originates from.

Moussaka isn’t difficult to make, but it is more time consuming than most of my other recipes, so you might want to save it for the weekend.  By all means add a layer of chopped tomatoes if you like, but I prefer the version below. It’s meaty, mellow and marvellous.

The simplest way to compile this dish is by making it in 3 easy stages.

: 4
Preparation & Cooking Time: 70 minutes
Effort Level: A little effort
Shelf Life: 3 days

2 aubergines
olive oil
For The Bechamel Sauce
25g flour
25g  butter
600ml low fat milk
1 bay leaf
4 peppercorns
½ onion
For The Meat Sauce
500g minced beef or lamb wth 12% or less fat
2 fat cloves garlic
2 dessertspoons dried oregano
2 dessertspoons  Knorr liquid beef stock
2 tbsp water
black pepper

2 large plates + a heavy weight
Kitchen towel
Large roasting tin
2 medium saucepans
Frying pan
Strainer/ small sieve
Balloon whisk

Here’s What You Do:
Remove the stem and lay the aubergines on their sides and cut them lengthways into 1cm thick slices. Arrange in single layers on a large plate, sprinkling each layer with salt to remove the bitter juices. Cover the slices with a second plate then place a heavy weight on top and leave to one side whilst you continue prepping.

Next, bring the milk up to the boil with the bayleaf, peppercorns and onion then remove from the heat and leave to infuse.

Turn the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.

Now finely chop the garlic and tip into the frying pan with the meat, oregano, liquid beef stock and water. Place over a high heat and stir briskly with a fork until well mixed then reduce the heat and leave to simmer gently.

Next, rinse the salt off the aubergines and pat dry with kitchen towel. Coat each slice with a little olive oil and arrange in the roasting tin. Place on the top oven shelf and cook for 5 minutes each side until lightly golden.

Reduce the oven temperature to 180C/350F/Gas 4 

Next, melt the butter in the 2nd saucepan. Add the flour and cook over a low heat for 3 minutes stirring constantly. Add the hot milk through a strainer and beat well with a balloon whisk until the sauce has thickened and is smooth and glossy. Remove from the heat.

Thinly cover the bottom of your chosen oven dish with the meat sauce. Cover with a layer of roasted aubergines, followed by another layer of meat until used up, finishing with a layer of aubergine. Pour on the béchamel sauce and place in a moderate oven on the middle shelf for half an hour.

Remove from oven and leave to stand for 10 minutes.

Serve with a tomato and onion salad.

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