Moussaka

 Stuff

  • 2 eggplant, sliced approx. 8 mm thick crosswise (to form circles)
  • Plenty of salt for sprinkling
  • Plain flour for dusting
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • ½ cup dry fried shallots (available from Asian shop)
  • 2 egg whites, beaten with little milk & 1 tspn salt
  • Plenty of olive oil for frying
  • 2 medium potato, peeled (optional) & sliced 5 mm thick
  • 3 medium kumara, peeled & sliced 5 mm thick
  • Plenty of salt
  • Plenty of olive oil for frying
  • 2 tblsn olive oil
  • 1 – 2 onions, fine diced
  • 3 – 4 cloves garlic, fine diced
  • 1 tblsp fresh thyme, fine chopped
  • 1 tblsp rosemary, fine chopped
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 300g good quality lean beef or lamb mince
  • 300g pork mince
  • 2 cinnamon quills
  • 1 x 400g tin of tomatoes, chopped
  • 100g tomato paste
  • Salt to taste
  • 100g butter
  • 100g plain flour
  • 600ml full fat milk, warmed
  • 75g strong gouda cheese, chopped small enough to aid melting in sauce
  • 75g parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3 x eggs, beaten

Method

  • Sprinkle both sides of eggplant slices with salt. Place between chopping boards with heavy weight on top. Leave for 1 to 2 hours
  • Crush the panko crumbs and shallots in a mortar & pestle
  • Thoroughly dry the eggplant slices with a paper towel. Lightly dust with flour, dip in the egg white mixture and coat with the panko & shallot powder. Allow to sit for ½ an hour
  • In patches fry the coated eggplant in olive oil until light brown
  • See variation Note below
  • In batches fry the potato & kumara slices in olive oil until golden brown and tender – alternatively grill both sides
  • Saute the onions, garlic, thyme, rosemary, lemon zest and juice until the onions are soft
  • Add all the mince and keep breaking up with wooden spoon until all brown and loose
  • Add the cinnamon, tomatoes, tomato paste and plenty of salt to taste. Simmer for approx. 1 hour
  • Melt butter in heavy large pot. Add the flour and constantly stir until bubbly and broken down (almost powdery)
  • Slowly add the warm milk – constantly stirring to avoid lumps
  • Stir in the cheeses and keep stirring to melt the cheese and cook the sauce for 5 minutes or so
  • Allow to cool a bit (while you are assembling the Moussaka).
  • Stir in the beaten eggs just before you pour the sauce on top
  • Oil a large casserole or lasagna pan.
    • Layers
      • Crumbed Eggplant slices
      • Meat sauce
      • Potato and kumara slices
      • Béchamel sauce
  • Bake at 180 degrees for approx. 45 minutes until the béchamel is set and golden brown

Serve

  • A big square each with a plain green salad
  • The Moussaka responds well to spending a day or two in the fridge – reheat in the oven at 180 degrees agian

Quantities

  • Serves 6 – 8

Variations

  • Crumbing the eggplant is not compulsory – save time (quite a lot!) by simply lightly frying the dried plain eggplant slices

Inspired by George Calombaris & his Mum

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