Sometimes you’ve got to have a big cheesy sauce topped, rich red wine sauce soaked moussaka to end your day. I love it, and make it with aubergines and potatoes. And an enriched bechamel sauce.
The Greek moussaka is traditionally a layered dish comprising of aubergine, a tomato sauce based meat layer, and a cheesy sauce topping (my enriched bechamel). And as I’ve said before in a previous moussaka post (yes- it’s so good I’ve written a second recipe), the turkish version is NOT layered. But equally as good.
As a dinner offering, this one is quite labour intensive. The aubergines need to be sliced and cooked, the potatoes need to be peeled and par boiled, the mince and tomato sauce needs a long slow cooking time, and the sauce needs last minute assembly. So not your jamie-oliver-15-minute-meal really. But worth it. Trust me.
My Big Fat Greek Moussaka
1 aubergine, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons of olive oil (preferably greek!)
500g good quality minced beef
1 tin of tomatoes
½ bottle of red wine
1 bay leaf
25g butter, melted
250ml of full fat milk
200g of grated cheddar cheese, a vintage one is preferable
1 egg yolk
Using 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, oil a roasting tray. Preheat the oven to 1800C. Thinly slice the aubergine and lay the slices on the tray. Roast for about 20 minutes. Set aside.
Add the remaining olive oil to a heavy based saucepan and heat gently. Brown the minced beef very slowly. Season well. Add the tinned tomatoes, the bay leaf and the wine. Cook very, very slowly over a very low heat for at least two hours, cover the saucepan partially to prevent too much moisture escaping. Set aside.
Peel and place the potatoes in a pot of cold salted water. Cover and bring to the boil. The potatoes can be left over ones, and you can slice the uncooked potatoes before you boil them, if it’s easier. Bring to the boil and cook for 8 minutes until half cooked. Drain and set aside.
When you are ready to assemble, melt the butter, add the flour and stir continuously over a medium heat for one minute to cook the flour out. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Bring to a simmer and stir until thickened. Remove from the heat, add and add half the grated cheese. Stir in the egg yolk just prior to adding the sauce to the dish.
Grease the baking dish, add a layer of potatoes, then a layer of aubergines, then add the mince (remove the bay leaf first). Repeat the layers on top, and add the béchamel sauce. Add the rest of the grated cheese, and bake for 30 minutes.
For extra carb loading serve with a baked potato and some green beans. Divine.