Prep 2 hrs 30 mins
Cook 1 hr
This is my mom's recipe :-D Ground lamb is my choice but it's ok to substitute ground beef. I don't like potatoes in my moussaka so I leave them out all together, and it cuts down on overall time I have to spend in the kitchen. You can add them to your dish if you'd like, THEY ARE OPTIONAL, so I included them here. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Check out the Moussaka potato debate here in the Greek Forum: http://www.recipezaar.com/bb/viewtopic.zsp?t=219564
- 1 lb russet potato (peeled, sliced 1/4 inch thick)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- black pepper
- 2⁄3 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 6 cups milk, hot
- coarse salt
- black pepper
- 1⁄8 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
- 6 whole eggs, beaten to mix
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing eggplant
- 1 1⁄2 lbs lamb, ground
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1⁄2 cup dry red wine
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons Greek oregano, dried
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 56 ounces Italian-style tomatoes, chopped, drained
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- 2 1⁄4 lbs baby eggplants, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices
- black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Toss the potatoes with the olive oil in a large bowl.
- Put them in a single layer on a baking sheet and season to taste.
- Roast until soft and starting to brown, about 35 minutes.
- Béchamel Sauce:.
- In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add flour and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes until it starts bubbling but does not color.
- Gradually whisk in the hot milk.
- Continue whisking for about 6 to 8 minutes until it thickens.
- Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- Put the eggs in a large bowl.
- Whisk the béchamel sauce into the eggs.
- Continue whisking for a few minutes until the béchamel has cooled slightly (enough so that the eggs won't curdle).
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap.
- Make sure to place wrap directly on the surface of the sauce so a skin does not form.
- Set aside.
- Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat.
- Add lamb and sauté until cooked through, breaking up with back of spoon, about 6 minutes.
- Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 6 minutes.
- Add wine, cayenne pepper, and oregano and cook 2 minutes.
- Stir in cinnamon, tomatoes, tomato paste and nutmeg.
- Reduce heat to medium.
- Cover and simmer until sauce is very thick and reduced to about 6 cups, stirring occasionally, about 60-70 minutes.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, preheat the grill on medium-high heat.
- Brush the eggplant slices with oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Grill until cooked through and golden, about 2 minutes per side.
- Set aside.
- To Assemble:.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Coat a 14x10x2-inch glass baking dish with oil.
- Arrange potatoes in bottom of dish.
- Arrange half of eggplant slices over potatoes.
- Pour half of lamb sauce over.
- Arrange another layer of eggplant slices on top.
- Pour remaining sauce over.
- Pour béchamel sauce over moussaka, covering completely.
- Bake moussaka uncovered until bubbling around edges, about 1 hour or until topping is softly set and browned.
- Transfer baking dish to rack and let rest 20 minutes before slicing.
Using the potatoes, it really did take over 3 hours. Yes, it is worth it. No, it's not any more time consuming than lasagna. Next time I would reduce the cayenne to 1/4 tsp and increase the nutmeg even more than I did. Substituted an 8x8 and 11x7 pan for the 10x14. A pan at least 2 inches deep would have helped. I made only half of the bechamel sauce, but added an extra egg. That was enough to cover both pans of moussaka. They baked in 30 minutes at 400. Next time I will turn it to 350 after ten minutes in the oven. Because I did not add the wine, I might have missed some of the flavor. For that reason I gave this all five stars. Thank you Bella.
Definitely use LAMB (and not beef) and all of the seasonings listed for an authentic flavor. I didn't use the potatoes but I have had moussaka made with them (actually substituted for the eggplant.) I really like grilling the eggplant instead of frying. Try this one.
Loved it! Lots of work but well worth it. Thanks