Moussaka

moussaka

This is my recipe I have had since 17yrs of age…..I made it up watching my mother cook the moussaka…she never had a recipe for anything in those days and since then it has gone through many changes ……so you can adapt this basic recipe to your own taste

Make this your first step-

Eggplants – 3……slice longways in thin layers and add salt on both sides
leave for half hour over cake rack………….(this helps to take out the bitterness of the eggplant)
Wash salt off and strain water out……..squeeze the slices between your hands to get as much water out as possible
Now you are ready to batter the eggplant
but make your mince layer next

Mince Layer

1 pound minced steak………….(now I know that traditionally lamb is a Greek thing here but we are in Oz and we use beef)
2 onions
1/2 cup water
parsley…decent amount…….1/2 to 1 cup chopped finely
salt and pepper
1 cup tomato puree…..my family use traditional bottled Italian tomato puree (home made, which we always keep on hand)
1/2 cup oil…………olive oil or best quality Spanish vegetable oil…(don’t have to use so much oil, I don’t anymore)
garlic is optional and added with the onion

Sauté grated onion in oil just enough to glaze and then add minced meat
Stir well to break up mince on high heat, add tomato puree…..add some water if necessary to break it up
Add salt pepper, parsley and 1/2 cup water
Let simmer until water is absorbed
(you can use left over spaghetti sauce…………without the sausage please! )

Batter

1 cup milk
2 beaten eggs
plain flour

Beat milk and eggs, add flour until batter consistency is medium
Add salt

Dip eggplant into batter, and fry in hot oil until lightly browned each side
Have your baking tray handy and layer the eggplant into this as you cook them……..(these days you might want to lay them onto absorbent paper to drain off the excess oil before you put into the baking dish.
Anyway…….one layer eggplant then mincesteak (or ground beef) then another layer of eggplant
next layer is the béchamel sauce

Béchamel Sauce

4 tblspns plain flour
4 oz butter
1 pint milk
3 eggs

In a saucepan add the flour over medium heat and slightly brown the flour stirring continuously……great care not to burn…….(this gives the sauce a lovely taste)
Add the butter and stir stir stir until butter is melted then add milk slowly as soon as then butter has melted, stirring all the time until the sauce thickens
Add yolks of eggs one at a time, stirring after each addition
salt , pepper
place over eggplant layer evenly
Grate nutmeg, over the top, and sprinkle dried breadcrumbs (optional) and 1/4 pound butter dotted on top

Cook 45 minutes in medium hot oven and top is golden brown
Cut into serving portions of your choice
Serve with Greek salad, feta cheese and tomato and a must
is crusty bread and why not a glass of retsina!!!

Note: I have just learnt that you can bbq or grill the eggplant to save on calories. It makes a much lighter dish. Also the great thing is that you can freeze the required quantity ready for use when you are in hurry. With your meat sauce already prepared and frozen in batches, this dish is easy and quick to make – just have to prepare the bechamel sauce.

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