- Eggplants 600 g
- Lamb 300 g of ground meat
- Pork 300 g of ground meat
- Potatoes 3
- Onion 1
- Tomato puree 300 g
- White wine 1/2 glass
- Grated parmesan cheese 50 g
- Grated Pecorino cheese 100 g
- Extra-virgin olive oil as much as it is needed
- Peanut oil 1 lt
- Sea salt as much as it is needed
- Black pepper as much as it is needed
- Cinnamon 1/2 tsp
- Bechamel 500 ml
Moussaka is a typical Greek course, very nourishing and appetizing and rich in ingredients, including lamb, cheese, and eggplants. This course is characterized by a layered preparation, similarly to a lasagna or an eggplants parmesan: the base consists of a layer of fried potatoes, then there is a layer of fried eggplants and a layer of mixed meat ragu, usually lamb or beef and pork, a sprinkle of the Greek cheese kefalotiri (that can be easily substituted with a mixture of Parmesan cheese and Pecorino cheese), and finally a last layer of bechamel that cover everything. Moussaka (or mousakà) must be baked in the oven, and can be served both as a second course or as a single course, a concentrate of true goodness for a great Sunday lunch forgetting about calories for a while!
How to make moussaka.
Start by preparing the mixed meat ragu: in a frying pan pour oil and chopped onion, fry until they are browned and then add the ground meat (1). Let it cook for a few minutes, add salt and pepper, and pour half a glass of white wine (2). Then add tomato puree (3) and the cinnamon, and cook until the sauce will get thickened.
Wash and cut in thin slices the eggplants and let them fry in a frying pan full of peanut oil (4). Proceed in the same way with potatoes cut into very thin slices. Once fried, drain them on a plate covered with oil-absorbing cooking paper, dry them, add salt and put them on the bottom of the casserole dish (5). Do the same thing with the eggplants, placing a layer of them over the potatoes (6).
Proceed with half the ground meat (7), add the grated Pecorino cheese and Parmesan cheese and then continue with the second layer of eggplants, and finish with the other half of the ground meat and the remaining cheese (8). Then prepare the bechamel (9) following our recipe.
Cover all with the béchamel (10) and bake at 180°C for 40 minutes. After taking the moussaka out of the oven (11), let it cool before slicing and serving it (12).
- If you do not like lamb meat, you can choose beef as well as calf.
- If you prefer, you can replace the eggplants with zucchini.
- To make a perfect béchamel, I recommend using whole milk.
- If you have time, after cutting them, add salt to the eggplants and leave them in a colander covered with a plate. Wait a couple of hours until they release a dark liquid. Then, wash them and dry them with a cloth. This process will help to eliminate some bitterness from the eggplants.