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Authentic Greek eggplant moussaka

GREEK MOUSSAKA

Sylia
Layers of thinly sliced potato, meltingly soft eggplant, cinnamon-spiced ground lamb meat and a luscious, creamy, light, gluten-free béchamel.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Greek
Servings 10

Ingredients
  

THE VEGGIES

  • 3-4 eggplants
  • 3 big potatoes
  • ½ cup (100g) Parmigiano-Reggiano or Kefalotyri

THE MEAT SAUCE

  • 2 large onions finely chopped
  • 2pound (1kg) ground lamb or/and beef
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 cup (250g) chopped tomatoes fresh or canned or passata
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 whole allspice berries or ½ teaspoon ground allspice

FOR THE BECHAMEL SAUCE

  • 6 cups (1.5 lt) whole milk
  • 1 cup (250g) cornstarch
  • ¼ cup (50g) unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup (120g) Parmigiano-Reggiano or Kefalotyri or pecorino, grated
  • 1 pinch nutmeg optional

Instructions
 

FOR THE VEGGIES

  • Remove the stalks from the eggplants and slice them lengthways into 1/2-inch (1 cm) slices. Place them in a colander, season with salt and cover with an inverted plate. Place the colander in the sink and leave it for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Peel the potatoes and slice them into 1/2-inch (1 cm) rounds.
  • Heat the oven to 392°F (200°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Rinse the eggplants with plenty of water and dry with paper towels. Place the slices on the baking sheets and brush with olive oil. Season and bake for about 20 minutes. Place them on paper towel to dry them.
  • Repeat the same procedure with potatoes. Place them on the baking seed, brush with olive oil and season. Bake for about 20-30 minutes and place on paper towel to dry.

FOR THE MEAT SAUCE

  • Meanwhile, in a large pan or heavy-bottomed pot, over medium to high heat, brown the ground meat until the pink color disappears about 10 minutes. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice and cook for a further couple of minutes cooking, until the mixture is quite dry.
  • Add the tomato paste and sauté for a couple of minutes until incorporated. Stir in the tomato, bring to a simmer, then turn the heat down low and cook for 30–40 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. Season to taste.

FOR THE BECHAMEL SAUCE

  • Place a big pot over medium heat. Add the milk and let it warm up for a while. Add the butter and let it melt.
  • Add 2 cups of the warmed milk to another pot and stir in the cornstarch. Whisk until the cornstarch is incorporated. When the cornstarch mixture is ready, pour it in the big pot with the milk-butter mixture.
  • Simmer over low-medium heat and whisk continuously about 10 minutes until it thickens a bit.
  • Remove from heat, and stir in the beaten eggs, the cheese and a pinch of nutmeg (optional). Stir well. Return to the heat and stir until sauce thickens a bit more but not too much. Set aside.

ASSEMBLE

  • Preheat oven to 392°F (200°C).
  • Lightly grease a large deep baking pan. Spread a layer of potatoes and season. Cover with a layer of eggplants and sprinkle with grated cheese.
  • Spread the ground meat over the vegetables. Cover with another layer of eggplants. Then finish with the béchamel smoothing the top over with a palette knife or spatula. Sprinkle with grated cheese (optional).
  • Put in the center of the oven and cook for 60-75 mins until deep golden brown. If it browns too much during cooking, cover the dish with parchment paper. Set aside for at least 20 mins to cool before slicing and serving.

Notes

YOGURT SAUCE
Ingredients
400g Greek yogurt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ cup (120ml) milk
½ cup (120g) Parmigiano-Reggiano or Kefalotyri (optional)
1 pinch nutmeg (optional)
Freshly ground pepper
Instructions
Place a small pot over medium heat. Add the milk and let it warm up for a while. Stir in the cornstarch. Whisk until the cornstarch is incorporated. Remove from heat. In a big bowl, add all the ingredients: yogurt, cornstarch, eggs, cheese, nutmeg (optional) and pepper. Stir well and stir the yogurt sauce over the baking pot with the veggies-meat. Smooth the top over with a palette knife or spatula. Sprinkle with grated cheese (optional).
Keyword Greek moussaka