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A moussaka recipe to rival George Calombaris
SERVES: 8 PREP: 1hr COOK: 40minPRINT CONVERSIONS
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My husband and I are fanatical about Greek food and we’ve tried many a Moussaka. This recipe wins hands down in our opinion. Not dissimilar to a good lasagna it requires a fair bit of effort, but is well worth it.
You'll Need
1 large brown onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
800g pork & veal mince (you could also use lamb mince, if you prefer)
1 cinnamon quill
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup dry white wine
400g pureed tomato
500g potatoes, peeled
2 large eggplants
olive oil
1 small handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 small handful oregano, chopped
120g butter
1 cup plain flour
4 cups warm milk
freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
Method

Step 1 – Meat sauce
Heat a little olive oil in a non stick pan and gently saute the onion until starting to soften.
Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the mince, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Cook the mince until it loses all it’s water and begins to brown (this will intensify the flavour).
Add the cinnamon quill and the bay and season with salt & pepper.
Add the wine allowing it to evaporate before adding the the tomato. Simmer for 45 minutes.
Remove the bay and the cinnamon and stir through the parsley & oregano.
Step 2 – Eggplant prep
If you get super fresh eggplants with a shiny purple skin and no marks, you shouldn’t have to salt them to draw out the bitterness. If you need to salt them, slice them thinly lengthwise and arrange them in a colander in the sink and salt them generously. After 30 minutes, wash them and pat them dry with a paper towel.
Pan fry or grill the eggplants in olive oil in batches until soft and golden on both sides and drain on paper towel. Try to keep the oil to a minimum as the eggplant absorbs a lot of it and the dish can be really oil as a result. I use a olive oil spray which works well.
Step 3 – Potato prep
Pre heat the oven to 200C.
Thinly slice the potatoes and arrange them on a large baking tray and spray or baste with olive oil.Bake in the oven until golden and crispy and scatter with salt.
Step 4 – Bechamel (make just before assembly)
Melt the butter in a large saucepan.
Whisk in the flour and cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly.
Heat the milk and begin to add gradually, whisking in as you go until the sauce reaches a smooth consistency. Add salt & pepper and nutmeg and continue stirring for another 5 minutes. The end result should be a super smooth & thick sauce.
Step 5 – Assembly
Set the oven temperature to 180C.
Using a large rectangle dish arrange half the eggplant over the base of the dish, then add all of the potatoes in a single layer. Add half the mince and press down so it’s nice and even. Add the rest of the eggplant and then top with a final layer of mince.
Check the bechamel and taste for seasoning. Spoon over the top and smooth it over with a spatula. The layer should be quite thick.
Bake for 45 minutes or longer if necessary until it’s all golden and bubbly.
Serve with a Greek salad.

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