Layers of cooked aubergine slices alternating with a mixture of minced lamb meat, in a tomato sauce, and covered with a thick béchamel sauce.
In its basic form, «moussaka» [pr. MOO-sah-kah] consists of sliced eggplant and ground lamb or beef that are layered, covered with a béchamel sauce enriched with eggs and/or cheese, then baked. It is a popular dish in Greece.
Cook the meat filling
Preheat the oven to 195°C/375°F. Prepare the vegetables: finely chop the onion and garlic; slice the aubergines into 7 mm thick slices.
- Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic then sauté 2-3 min, until they become translucent. Increase the heat to medium-high then add the ground meat. Sear it until it looses its red colour, about 4-5 min, then break it up with a fork. In order to brown the meat, it is important not to stir it at the beginning, otherwise it will loose its juices and will «boil» rather than brown. Using a bulb baster, remove any juices released from the meat and reserve them.
- When the meat is golden-coloured, pour in the wine and any reserved meat juices. Stir in the diced tomatoes and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Let the mixture simmer uncovered about 30 min, until it thickens and is almost dry.
Cook the aubergines
- While the meat is cooking, fry the aubergine slices in a pan with the hot peanut oil, working in batches, until the slices are golden brown on each side (about 4 min per slice). Set the aubergines on paper towels to drain.
Cook the béchamel sauce
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add the flour and beat well using a whisk or a wooden spoon. Cook for 3 min, stirring constantly and taking care not to let it burn. Warm up the milk, then add it slowly while stirring thoroughly to avoid lumps. Cook over medium heat 4-5 min. Grate the cheese, then blend it into the sauce.
Assemble and bake
- Grease a baking dish, then arrange half of the aubergines in the bottom of the dish. Add a little salt, then spread the meat mixture over the aubergines. Top with the remaining aubergines. Pour the béchamel sauce over the top aubergine layer. For a nice golden crust, sprinkle the top with the bread crumbs (or additional grated cheese if you prefer).
- Cook in the middle of the oven about 30 min, until the top is golden and bubbling on the edges. Let cool 10 min before serving.
The meat filling and the béchamel sauce can be made 2-3 days ahead. In that case, fry the aubergines, assemble the moussaka, and bake it just before serving. Alternatively, the whole dish may be made in advance and just rewarmed until heated through when ready to serve (the aubergines will then be softer).
Nutrition Facts Table
per 1 serving (390g)
% Daily Value
ClaimsThis recipe is :
- Free :
- Added Sugar
- Excellent source of :
- Calcium, Folacin, Niacin, Phosphorus, Potassium, Selenium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B2, Vitamin D, Zinc
- Good source of :
- Fibre, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, Vitamin K
- Source of :
- Copper, Vitamin C
- Low :
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