Moussaka is a delicious Greek dish made with eggplant, ground beef, potato, White Sauce or Bechemal Sauce, cheese and spices. Moussaka is a very rich and tasty eggplant casserole that is perfect for any gatherings.
Yield: Serves 6
- 600 g extra lean ground beef
- 3 medium eggplants (about 1.2 kg), peeled and cut into 1/4-1/2 inch rounds
- 4 medium potatoes
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 5 tablespoons crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- cooking oil
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 1/4 teaspoons turmeric powder
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 cups cold milk
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
To eliminate the bitter flavor from eggplants, sprinkle liberally with salt and let them sit for 20 minutes. Then rinse to remove the salt and pat dry.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cover the oven rack with aluminum foil and place the sliced eggplants on the rack in a single layer.
Bake in the preheated oven until eggplants are soft, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Fry the eggplants until golden brown (don't use too much oil; whatever you use, eggplant will absorb). Place them on a paper towel to absorb the extra oil.
Meanwhile prepare the meat mixture: heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 10-12 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Increase heat to medium-high; add the ground beef and brown until no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium and add the allspice, oregano, turmeric powder, cinnamon, crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water. Bring the meat mixture to a simmer, and continue to simmer gently, uncovered for 20 minutes. Taste and add more salt or pepper if needed. Set the meat mixture aside.
To preaper the potatoes: peel them and cut lengthwise, into 1/4-inch thick slices. In a pot, bring 6 cups of salted water to a boil. Add the potato slices and cook for 5-6 minutes over medium-high heat (you want them under-cooked, but no longer crunchy). Drain and set aside.
To prepare the white sauce: dissolve flour in cold milk. Set aside. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the dissolved flour into the melted butter. Stir constantly until mixed and all the lumps are gone, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking over medium-low heat until sauce begins to thicken, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let sit for 5-6 minutes. Add the nutmeg and salt; stir well. Put the egg yolks in a bowl and whisk to combine. Then slowly pour the egg yolks into the white sauce, whisking all the time.
Preheat the oven to 360 degrees F. Layer an 8x11-inch baking dish with the potatoes, overlapping slightly.
Top the layer of potatoes with a layer of eggplant slices (use just half of the slices).
Cover the eggplant slices with the meat mixture.
Then layer remaining eggplant slices on top of the meat mixture and sprinkle with half of the mozzarella cheese.
Pour the white sauce over and sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.
Bake until the top is golden browned, about for 40-50 minutes. Let the Moussaka cool for 10 minutes before serving.
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