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Greek Moussaka

Ever-popular moussaka is equally suitable as a family supper dish or when entertaining a large group.  Most versions are based primarily on sautéed aubergine (eggplant) and tomato, usually with minced meat. However, the Greek version includes layers of meat and eggplant topped with a Béchamel (“white”) sauce, and baked.  Béchamel is a classic white sauce is made from cooking butter and flour together, then whisking in some milk. Its thickness depends on how much milk is added: the more milk, the thinner the sauce.  See my post Get Sauce Savvy for more info on the five mother sauces.

10 ml olive oil
500 g lamb 
10 ml crushed garlic
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 400 g tin tomato paste
15 ml parsley, finely chopped
5 ml salt
2.5 ml dried origanum
1 ml ground cinnamon
125 ml dried breadcrumbs
300 g aubergine/brinjal
50 ml olive oil

Cheese sauce
30 g butter
30 ml cake flour
2.5 ml salt
375 ml milk
50 g cheese, grated (e.g. Parmesan)
2 large eggs, separated

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 230 °C and grease an ovenproof dish with a 2 liter capacity with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion. Stir-fry until cooked. Add the mince and garlic and cook while stirring until the mince is crumbly.
  3. Add the tomato, parsley, salt, origanum and cinnamon and stir to combine. Cover and allow to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring from time to time.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the bread crumbs.
  5. Slice the aubergine into 1 cm thick slices and brush each slice with oil on both sides.
  6. Place the aubergine slices on a baking tray lined with Wizbake sheet and grill for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until just tender.
  7. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  8. Lower the oven temperature to 160 °C.
  9. To make the sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan.
  10. Remove the saucepan from the stove and stir in the cake flour and salt.
  11. Add the milk a little at a time while stirring with a spatula to prevent lumps.
  12. Bring to the boil while stirring and cook until a smooth sauce forms.
  13. Add the cheese and remove the saucepan from the heat.
  14. Have ready a medium mixing bowl and two small mixing bowls.
  15. Separate the eggs into the small bowls one at a time, transferring the whites from the small bowl into the larger bowl and the yolks into the 2nd small bowl.
  16. Add the egg yolks to the sauce while beating with a fork. Set aside.
  17. Beat the egg whites with an electric hand whisk until soft peaks form and fold it into the sauce with a spatula.
  18. Pour a thin layer of the sauce into the dish and cover with half of the aubergine slices. Layer with the meat sauce, remaining aubergine and finish off with the cheese sauce.
  19. Bake the moussaka for about 45 minutes or until light golden brown and bubbly.
  20. Serve with salad and fresh bread.

6 servings

Variation
– Substutute tje aubergine with two large potatoes which has been peeled, sliced and boiled until tender.
– Substitute the lamb mince with beef mince.

Photo credit: www.ohmydish.com

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from the Art Of Cooking recipe book page 213.