Who doesn’t love Moussaka? I actually prefer it to lasagna. For years, a variety of people tried to make me try their version of lasagna in a bid to convince me that lasagna was great. I can eat lasagna. It’s just that i don’t love it. It’s personal taste i suppose.
Moussaka on the other hand is one of my favourite meals. It is time consuming to make but the end result is worth the wait. Delicious layers of aubergine, white sauce and potatoes is what makes this greek dish so irresistible. I have experimented with this Moussaka a lot and therefore i think it is rather special.
Masterchef is back on the telly and naturally that is my background noise today. It really makes me want to get in the kitchen before i have finished this post. However, I can’t imagine anything more terrifying then cooking/baking under that much pressure. Seriously i don’t do well under any kind of pressure. Even baking for my son’s school or for weddings is a huge no no for me. I wish i wasn’t that way. 🙁 I can pretty much guarantee that my usual dishes will not turn out as great if i am cooking under pressure. Some people excel under such circumstances but not me..no, i have to make sure i am an absolute mess by the end.
Ooh Masterchef side note, Just hearing that someone called Natasha made a chocolate brownie, with caramel, almond brittle and caramel popcorn..see i would never think Masterchef would be ok with that. I would go so OTT and put so much pressure on myself. I would be trying to put something so elaborate together that by the end i would combust as a special treat for the judges.
This is a succulent, hearty moussaka with real depth of flavour. It is the kind of recipe you want in your back pocket for when you have a few mouths to feed. Like perhaps over this little Easter break.
- 1 large aubergine sliced lengthways into 1/2 inch slices
- 2 large Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and sliced lengthways into 1/2 inch slices
- 1 red onion finely chopped
- 1 large white onion finely chopped
- 1 lb beef or lamb mince
- 4 cloves garlic crushed
- 2 green chillies crushed
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 400g tin chopped tomatoes blended
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 tsp Cumin powder
- 1 tsp Coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
- Salt and black pepper to taste (Use plenty of black pepper here)
- 7 tbsp Olive oil
- 100 g butter
- 100g plain flour
- 725ml full fat milk
- 3 eggs beaten
- 3 tbsp plain yoghurt
- 100g Gruyere cheese grated (Divided into 2)
- 50g parmesan cheese grated (Divided into 2)
- Pinch nutmeg
- Salt the aubergine and set aside for 30 minutes. (Start on the mince)
- Rinse and dry on kitchen tissue.
- Fry the aubergine in 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pan, over a medium heat till they are colouring slightly. (About 2-3 minutes each side).
- Start on the potatoes.
- Add more oil to the same pan as the aubergines were cooked in and cook for 3 – 4 minutes each side and set aside.
- In a separate pan, heat oil and fry the onions, garlic and green chilli for 6 – 7 minutes till the onions are a golden brown colour.
- Add the mince and allow it to brown for ten minutes.
- Add cinnamon stick, cumin, coriander, turmeric, red chilli powder, tomatoes, tomato paste and salt and pepper.
- Simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes, then remove the cinnamon stick.
- Continue with the aubergines.
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low/medium heat.
- Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the milk slowly and stir continuously until the sauce thickens.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the eggs, yoghurt and nutmeg.
- Stir in half the parmesan and half the gruyere cheese.
- In a deep casserole dish, add a layer of potatoes, then mince and then aubergine. Repeat the layers until everything is used up.
- Pour over the white sauce, making sure it covers in a thick, even layer.
- Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan and gruyere cheese.
- Bake in the oven for 35 minutes, until it is golden brown in colour.