AUBERGINE MOUSSAKA

It is lamb meat season which means I will be filling my deepfreeze with all kinds of cuts, but specially minced lamb which i use in many different dishes.

I have been fortunate enough to have had a Greek friend who has taught me many authentic Greek recipes and this must be one of my favourite comfort dishes.  Served with lemony roasted potatoes, a greek salad and tsatziki on the side, you really do not need much more other than a nice bottle of red wine!

It is an easy recipe and although it is a little time-consuming it is absolutely so worth it!  The recipe doubles up easily if you want to feed a crowd or freezes just as well if you have any leftovers.

You’ll need

  • 2 x large aubergines/egg plants (1,2kg)
  • Coarse salt
  • ¼ cup x olive oil (60ml)
  • 1 x large onion
  • 2 x cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1kg x minced lamb
  • 440g x can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp x tomato paste
  • ½ cup x red wine (125ml)
  • 2 Tbsp x fresh flat leave parsley, chopped
  • 2 tsp x dried oregano
  • 1 tsp x sugar
  • ¼ tsp x ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup x grated parmesan cheese (20g)
  • ½ tsp x ground nutmeg
  • •For the cheese sauce
  • 125g x butter
  • 100g x plain flour
  • 1 lt x whole milk
  • ½ cup x grated parmesan cheese (40g)
  • 2 x eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Set your oven for 200ºC.
  2. Cut the aubergines into 5mm slices, sprinkle with salt and let it stand for about 20 minutes.
  3. Rinse the slices under cold water, drain and pat dry with towel paper.
  4. Place slices on a baking sheet in single layers and lightly brush with olive oil on both sides and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until lightly brown.
  5. Drain on towel paper.
  6. For the mince sauce, heat olive oil in a pan and add onions and garlic. Cook until soft.
  7. Add mince and cook until browned.
  8. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, parsley, oregano, sugar and cinnamon.
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste, put the lid on and simmer for 30 minutes.
  10. For the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a pan over medium high heat and stir in the flour. Keep on stirring until bubbles form and reduce the heat to medium low.
  11. Gradually pour in the milk, once you have poured in all the milk, turn up the heat to medium high again and keep on stirring until the mixture has thickened.
  12. Remove from the heat, stir in the parmesan.
  13. Let the mixture cool slightly and then stir in the eggs.
  14. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
  15. For the assembly, reduce your oven to 180ºC.
  16. Grease an ovenproof dish with olive oil. (2,5lt dish size)
  17. Place one-third of the aubergines at the bottom of the dish and top with half the mince mix.
  18. Then cover with half of the remaining aubergines and pour the rest of the mince mix on top.
  19. Finish off with the last third of the aubergines.
  20. Finally pour over the cheese sauce and sprinkle with nutmeg and remaining parmesan cheese.
  21. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes. until the top is lightly browned.
  22. Remove from the oven and let the dish stand for at least 20 minutes before you serve it.

Note : I have served my moussaka with lemony roasted potatoes, tzatziki and an authentic greek salad.

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