How to Make the Perfect Moussaka

I just love Greek food! I had a fit in my head yesterday and I 'needed' to make Greek foodie things.
I think you might have noticed by now that Moussaka is one of my favourites, which I do believe, I have now perfected!

Remember my first attempt to make cheese saganaki a while back? Well, I tried and failed - for some reason I decided that it must be deep fried (wrong)! All the batter went to the top of the fryer and the cheese, well most of it sank to the bottom and the result was a huge mess.



Anyway, you live and learn! This second attempt of mine was much better.
I just dipped the feta into egg, then into seasoned flour, then egg and flour again and shallow fried it........Success!


Ever since I had the Greek dip Htipiti I loved it! I found the recipe from Peter over at 'Kalofagas' so I thank Peter for that. His recipe can be found here.

It involves char grilling one or more chili peppers - depending on how much dip you are making. I think mine were more than charred!



The result is one yummy dip.
 


Then onto my perfected Moussaka!  I would like to someday use Kefalotiri cheese, but haven't been able to get it - not even in Waitrose! I have no idea what the difference would be though, if any.

Print Recipe

https://sites.google.com/a/aglugofoil.com/a-glug-of-oil/home/moussaka---the-best-recipe

 




To serve 4-6 you will need:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 to 3 large potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
1 large aubergine, sliced into thin rounds
12 Kalamata olives - finely chopped
500g minced lamb - get the best you can with a low fat content
1 x 400g can of good quality chopped tomatoes
140ml of red wine

1 large onion - peeled and chopped
2 nice fat cloves of garlic - finely chopped

1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 a teaspoon of dried mint

2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons of tomato puree

1 large handful of Romano or Parmesan cheese 
sea salt and black pepper to taste


For the Béchamel Sauce:

50g butter - melted
500ml of hot milk
4 tablespoons plain flour

2 eggs - lightly beaten
a good handful grated Romano Cheese (about 3/4 cup) or Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
salt to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon)

How to do it:
Brush the aubergine with a little olive oil. Now fry them in a large pan a few at a time until they are cooked. Remove and set aside.


Heat the oil in a large pan and saute the onion and garlic until soft but not coloured. Now add the lamb and cook until it's lightly browned.  
Stir in the tomato puree and cook it for about a minute.


Add the wine and cook until it has reduced slightly.  Add the oregano, basil, mint and cinnamon, olives and the can of tomatoes including the juice.
Cook on a low heat for about 30 minutes, until the mixture thickens.  Have a taste and season with sea slat and black pepper.


Now put the sliced potatoes into cold water.  Bring to the boil and then turn down; simmer partly covered for about 6 minutes or when you can easily insert a knife.
Run them under cold water, drain and pat dry with kitchen paper and set aside.


Lightly oil a largish baking dish, mine is probably about 9x9 inches and about 3 inches deep.

Arrange a layer of potatoes over the bottom. Now put a layer of meat sauce and a layer of aubergine, sprinkle with some cheese and then do another layer of meat sauce followed by a layer of aubergine.




The Bechamel Sauce:
In saucepan melt the butter over medium-low heat and stir in the flour with a wooden spoon and cook the mixture for a couple of minutes and add the salt.


Now at this point, take it off the heat and add the hot milk whilst using a balloon whisk to mix it but you need to keep that whisk going!
Now let it cool a bit and then, add the eggs and grated cheese and keep whisking until it turns into this lovely smooth sauce.
Mix in the ground nutmeg.
Taste a smidgen of it if you dare (remembering there are raw eggs in it) just to see if it needs any more salt.

Pour the sauce over the top and sprinkle with a little more cheese. Top with a little sprinkling of nutmeg.




Bake in a Preheated oven at 175C/350F Gas 4 for about 40 minutes until the top is golden brown and it is hot piping hot in the middle.



My finished Moussaka:!

12 comments

  1. Oh my, Jan, that looks so good. What a feast, but where was my invitation?! ;D

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  2. WOW - such a great meal combo...the entire combo looked great!

    -DTW
    www.everydaycookin.blogspot.com

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  3. Jan, when are you applying for Greek citizenship? lol

    The Saganaki - a success, the Htipiti - hot and the Moussaka...Mmmm-erific!

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  4. Jan, you can blog about moussaka all you want! Your food is always fabulous! Much love, Raquel XO

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  5. I don't mind you blogging about moussaka Jan or any other Greek dish for that matter. I love all things Greek:D

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  6. Blog about it all you want!! My fave

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  7. I think I need some Greek food now!
    I have a book on Greek cooking from the Culinaria series (my mum has the Spain and Italy books as well) They are fabulously illustrated and with excellent recipes.

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  8. Your Moussaka looks sensational, Jan, so does everyhting else for that matter.

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  9. We went to the Greek Festival in Salt Lake City last weekend. It was fun and we had good food, but yours looks even better!

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  10. Yum! Greek food is so tasty.

    Great blog :)

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  11. Jan, what a delicious looking feast you have prepared!!! I am in awe of you! You have definitely outdone yourself here!

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  12. What a wonderful, colourful Greek meal. I think reading this posting we'll all be jealous of you.

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Thanks for taking the time to comment - much appreciated.
Cheers
Jan

PS: I hate having to do this but anyone trying to leave links in their comments please save yourself the trouble as they will NOT be published....
Thank you, you know who you are :)

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