My advice is not to attempt to make this dish in one session. Not because there is any degree of difficulty, but because by the time you have finished, you will be too buggered to eat it. Without exaggeration, this is a mammoth undertaking. It is a dish to be made only for a loved one as anyone else would not be worthy of the effort. If you decide your up for the challenge (and it will be worth your while), make it in your biggest baking dish in the hope you have some leftovers and can then take the rest of the week off.
|Prep Time||2 hours +|
|Cook Time||1 hour|
- 1.25 kg lean mince beef or lamb
- 2 medium brown onions diced
- 1 large tomato diced
- 1 heaped tbs tomato paste
- 2 garlic cloves finely diced
- 1 large handful fresh parsley chopped
- 2 large globe eggplant
- 4 large potatoes
- 4-6 large tomatoes thinly sliced
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- a couple of twists cracked black pepper
- olive oil for frying
- 1 large deep sided baking dish mine is 40cm x 29cm
For The White Sauce
- 1 1/4 litre milk
- 90 g butter
- 90 g plain flour
- 80 g tasty cheese grated
- pich white pepper
- 2 tbs tasty cheese extra to scatter
For The White Sauce
For The Meat Sauce
- Gently saute the diced onion for 5 minutes in 1 tbs of olive oil. Add the garlic and continue cooking gently for another 5 minutes.
- Ramp up the heat and gradually add the meat. Brown for a few minutes while breaking the clumps with a fork.
- When the meat has browned, add the tomato paste stirring through the meat for a minute or two (frying off the tomato paste for a couple of minutes at this stage will prevent the meat sauce from having a raw after taste )
- Now add the diced tomato, parsley, all spice and seasonings.
- Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and cook for half an hour. You may need to add a little water to the mix during the cooking ( ¼ to ½ cup), but don’t overdo as the mixture needs to be reasonably dry (not a sloppy pasta sauce). Set the meat aside while you prepare the vegetables
For The Moussaka
- Slice the eggplant into ½ cm discs. Heat a non-stick pan to very hot (if the pan is hot, the eggplant will require less oil) and add 1 or 2 tbs of olive oil. Cook the eggplant until golden (3 or 4 minutes), turn them over and continue to cook until browned. Repeat until you have enough eggplant to cover the dish twice. Set aside.
- Peel and thinly slice the potato. Arrange on a large plate, add 1 tsp of water, cover with cling film and microwave until half cooked (approximately 3 minutes depending on your microwave). Repeat until you have enough potato to cover the dish twice. It usually takes me 2 or 3 dinner plates. Set aside.
To Assemble The Moussaka
- Start with a layer of eggplant, then a layer of potato, followed by a layer of sliced tomato. Now evenly spread the meat sauce.
- On the meat, add another layer of sliced tomato, then potato and lastly another layer of eggplant.
- Pour over the white sauce, sprinkle with a little nutmeg, the extra grated cheese and cover with foil. Make sure the foil isn't touching the cheese sauce because it will stick.
- Pre heat the oven to 180°C and bake for ½ an hour. Remove the foil and continue to cook for approximately ½ an hour to 45 minutes or until golden brown.
- Divide into portions and serve with pennysmenu Greek Salad and some Mixed Leaf Salad.
To Make The White Sauce
- Make a roux. Melt the butter over a gentle heat, add the flour and stir for a minute or two to cook out the raw flour taste.
- Gradually add the milk stirring constantly until it thickens. You may need to add a little extra milk to make a thick pouring consistency.
- Add the grated cheese and a dash of white pepper and stir to melt. If the sauce develops lumps during cooking, they can usually be removed with an electric beater.
I recommend that you don't attempt to portion the moussaka until the next day. Leaving the dish overnight in the refrigerator (and re heating the next day), will make it easier to divide and portion without the individual serves collapsing.
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