Saturday, October 22, 2011
My mum made moussaka (moos-sah-KAH) often when I was growing up. I have always loved it.
I have been making my moussaka this way for at least 20 years. I have a friend who comes from Crete, he tells me that it is not moussaka unless it contains zucchini. I tried his recipe but prefer it only with the eggplant and potato. I guess that's because it was the way my mother cooked it and the way my Greek friend in London cooked it. So again, I cook a recipe for reasons of nostalgia.
You will notice in my method that I bake the eggplant and the potatoes in the oven instead of frying them in oil on the stove top. Hopefully there aren't too many Greek Yiayia's throwing their hands in the air in disgust at this procedure. You can fry them in oil if you prefer, but this is what I do.
This way of cooking came about for two reasons. Firstly, I was trying to reduce the amount of oil used (therefore making it healthier?) Eggplants are like a sponge when it comes to oil. Secondly, I'm lazy. My way is not as messy and it is quicker. While the vegetables bake away I can get started on on the meat sauce.
• 2 large aubergines (sliced)
• 2 large or 3 small potatoes (sliced)
• 1 tablespoons butter
• 1 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 onions (sliced)
• 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
• 500 grams lamb mince
• 1 teaspoons dried oregano
• 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
• salt and pepper• 1 x 400 gram tin of tomatoes
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1/3 cup flour
• 2 cups milk
• pinch nutmeg
• salt and pepper
• 1 egg (lightly beaten)
• 4 tables grated cheddar cheese
• 4 tables breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Grease a 28 x 32 cm lasagne dish. Bake the potatoes and aubergines for 15 to 20 minutes until tender. Heat the butter and oil in heavy based pot and gently saute the onions until tender. Add the garlic and then the lamb mince and cook until brown. Add the herbs, spices and seasonings. Stir in the tomatoes and tomato paste. Bring to the boil, cover and reduce the heat to simmer for 20 minutes.
To make the bechamel sauce, melt the butter and add the flour to make a roux. Gradually add the milk and stir slowly until thickened. Add the nutmeg and season to taste. Remove from the heat and stir through the egg. Combine the cheese and breadcrumbs and a small bowl.
To assemble: layer - half the aubergine, half the mince, all of the potato, half of the cheese and breadcrumb mixture, the remaining mince, the remaining eggplant and then bechamel sauce. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and breadcrumbs over the top of the moussaka. Cook for 45 minutes.Take a look here to see who else is participating in blogtoberfest.