How to Make the Perfect Moussaka

Moussaka is so good to eat and it's easy to make too. I've tried a few recipes but this one is perfect. Someday I would like to use Kefalotiri cheese, but haven't been able to get it; nope not even in Waitrose. I have no idea what the difference would be though, if any.

a slice of moussaka

Potatoes on the bottom of the dish and then layer the meat sauce with aubergines but always end with aubergines on the top layer.

aubergines on top of moussaka meat sauce



Moussaka, Greek, Dinner, Main
Main, Dinner,
Greek
Yield: 4-6

Moussaka

Moussaka is actually quite easy to make. Don't be put off by the long list of ingredients because the end result will be worth it.

ingredients:

  •  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
  • 1 large onion - peeled and chopped
  • 2 nice fat cloves of garlic - finely chopped
  • 500g minced lamb - get the best you can with a low fat content
  • 3 tablespoons of tomato puree
  • 140 ml of red wine
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of dried mint
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 12 Kalamata olives - finely chopped
  • 1 x 400g can of good quality chopped tomatoes
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 large handful of Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • For the B├ęchamel Sauce:
  • 50g butter - melted
  • 500ml of hot milk
  • 4 tablespoons plain flour
  • 2 eggs - lightly beaten
  • a good handful grated Romano Cheese or Parmesan (about 3/4 of a cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • salt to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon)

instructions

  1. Lightly oil a largish baking dish, mine is probably about 9x9 inches and about 3 inches deep.
  2. Brush the aubergine with a little olive oil. Now fry a few at a time large pan until they are golden brown then remove and set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. Now add the wine and cook until it has reduced slightly before adding the oregano, basil, mint and cinnamon and chopped olives.
  5. Cook for a minute and add the can of tomatoes including the juice.
  6. Cook on a low heat for about 30 minutes, until the mixture thickens. Have a taste and season with sea salt and black pepper.
  7. Now cook the sliced potatoes into salted 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.
  8. Arrange a layer of potatoes over the bottom of your oiled dish. Followed by a layer of meat sauce and a layer of aubergines, sprinkle with some cheese and then do another layer of meat sauce followed by another layer of aubergines.
  9. To make the Bechamel Sauce:
  10. 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.
  11. Now at this point, take it off the heat and add the hot milk whilst using a balloon whisk. Have a taste and add a little more salt if you think it needs it.
  12. Let it cool a bit and then add eggs and, grated cheese and keep whisking until it turns into this lovely smooth sauce. *If you don't let it cool a bit before doing this the eggs will scramble. Mix in the ground nutmeg.
  13. Pour the sauce over the top and sprinkle with a little more cheese. Top with a little sprinkling of nutmeg.
  14. 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.
Created using The Recipes Generator

You may 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.

Fried Feta

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 and 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!

Charred Chilli Pepper

The result is one yummy dip.


Greek dip Htipiti


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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I love to hear from everyone so thanks for taking the time to comment.
Cheers
Jan

PS: Please do not add any links in your comment as it will result in your comment not being published. Thank you.