Moussaka Recipe

A traditional Mediterranean cuisine of tasty lamb mince and eggplant, topped with creamy bechamel sauce.

Preparation Time: 20 - 50 minutes
Cooking Time: 60 minutes

Ingredients (serves 6):
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 eggplants, trimmed, thickly sliced
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 500g lamb mince
  • 400g can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) dry red wine
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • Mixed salad leaves, to serve
  • Bechamel sauce

  • 3 cups (750ml) milk
  • 1 brown onion, halved
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 50g butter
  • 1/3 cup (50g) plain flour
  • 1/2 cup (40g) finely grated kefalotyri cheese (see note)

  1. Heat 1 tbs of the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add one-quarter of the eggplant slices and cook for 1-2 minutes each side or until golden brown and tender. Transfer to a plate. Repeat in 3 more batches with remaining eggplant, adding more oil when necessary.
  2. Heat any remaining oil in the pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Add the mince and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up any lumps, for 5 minutes or until mince changes colour. Add the tomatoes, wine and oregano and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly. Remove from heat. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  3. To make the bechamel, combine the milk, onion, bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and set aside for 30 minutes to infuse.
  4. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over high heat until foaming. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until well combined and flour becomes slightly grainy. Remove from heat. Strain the milk and add to the flour mixture. Return to heat and use a balloon whisk to whisk until well combined. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until sauce boils and thickens. Remove from heat. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease an 8-cup (2 litre) capacity ovenproof dish. Spoon half the lamb mixture into the dish. Layer with half the eggplant slices. Continue layering with remaining lamb and eggplant. Pour over the béchamel and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until the moussaka is golden brown and heated through. Serve with mixed salad.

Pasta Tip:

Kefalotyri is a hard sheep or goat's milk cheese from Greece. It is available from delicatessens and supermarkets, and can be substituted with parmesan.

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