Perfect Moussaka

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READY IN: 2hrs 15mins
Recipe by Karen in Toronto

This is adapted from a Claudia Roden recipe. This is my version of her classic. It gets rave reviews every time.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • For the meat and tomatoes

  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 12 lbs ground lamb
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 5 tomatoes, large, peeled and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 12 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • For the white sauce

  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 8 tablespoons flour
  • 5 cups hot milk
  • salt and pepper
  • 14 teaspoon of grated nutmeg
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • For the rest of the dish

  • 3 eggplants, left unpeeled, cut crosswise in 1/3 inch slices (about 1.5 pounds total)
  • 3 potatoes, peeled, blanched and sliced in 1/4 inch slices
  • 12 cup vegetable oil

Directions

  1. Slice the eggplant and lay on clean dishtowels. Sprinkle both sides lightly with kosher salt, cover with another dish towel and weigh down with cans or whatever is in the kithen to add weight. Keep like this for at least 20 minutes This will remove the bitter taste.
  2. Fry the onions in the oil in a large skillet until golden. Add the ground lamb and stir, crushiing it with a fork and turning over until it chages color. Add salt, pepper, cinnamon, tomatoes, sugar and chili flakes. Stir well and cook until the liquid has almost disappeared, then mix in the parsley.
  3. Remove eggplant from dishtowels and brush off the salt. Brush the eggplant slices generously with oil and broil or grill them, turning them over once until lightly browned. Line the bottom of a baking dish (I prefer enameled cast iron) with half the slices. Then layer with the slices of potatoes. Spread the meat on top, then put another layer of eggplant, then potato, then meat until done. Finish with either meat or eggplant. Now, let's prepare the white sauce.
  4. In a large pan or pot melt the butter. Add the flour slowly and stir over low heat for a few minutes until well blended. Add the hot milk a little at a time, stirring vigorously each time, until it boils, taking care not to allow lumps to form. Simmer over low heat stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens. Add salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Beat the eggs lightly in a separate bowl and beat in a little of the white sauce, then pour into the rest of the white sauce, beating vigourously. DO NOT allow the sauce to boil again. Add the cheddar cheese and mix until well melted.
  5. Now pour the white sauce all over the meat, eggplant, potato casserole. Bake uncovered in a preheated 400 degree F oven until golden.
  6. Serve hot straight from the dish. It can also be cooked and served in individual clay bowls, the layers repeated in the same way.
  7. Serve with a nice salad. Enjoy.

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