This classic Greek dish is ideal any time of the year. Moussaka is layers and layers of flavors with every level having its own unique essence.
2 aubergine, cut into 1cm slices
700g, Minced lamb
3 big potatoes, peeled, sliced into 1cm slices
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tsp dried oregano
1½ tsp dried mint
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp. plain flour
6 tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp. tomato puree
7 tbsp. olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste
For the white sauce
50g plain flour
1 tsp finely grated nutmeg
25g finely grated Parmesan
1 egg, beaten
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
- Place the aubergine pieces in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Set aside for 10 minutes.
- Put the lamb, onions, garlic, oregano, mint, bay leaves and cinnamon in a large heavy-based frying pan and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the meat.
- Stir in the flour, salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree and bring to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the lamb is tender and the sauce has thickened.
- Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Rinse the aubergine pieces under cold running water and pat dry in a clean tea towel.
- Heat three tablespoons of the oil in a heavy-based frying pan and fry the aubergine for 2-3 minutes on each side, adding more oil when necessary. Remove from the pan and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.
- Cook the potatoes in boiling water for five minutes, then drain in a colander under running water until cold.
- For the white sauce, melt the butter in a large saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook for a few seconds, then gradually stir in the milk.
- Add half the Parmesan and the grated nutmeg. Simmer the sauce gently for 4-5 minutes, stirring regularly. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and quickly stir in the beaten egg. Cover the surface of the sauce with cling film to prevent forming of skin.
- Spoon one third of the meat sauce into a large, shallow ovenproof dish. Cover with a layer of potatoes and a layer of aubergine. Repeat the layers twice more, finishing with the aubergine. Pour over the white sauce, making sure it covers in a thick, even layer. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, or until deep golden-brown and bubbling.