Written by:Eli Ben-Yehuda, May 19, 2019

Well, there is nothing like spending your Saturday morning cooking something special for the person you love. My wife has been on holiday for the last 10 days so I wanted to treat her to her favorite dish. Mind you I love being in the kitchen and I can whip up some amazing meals, so for her “Welcome Home” dinner, I made Greek Mousakka.

Traditional moussaka is a meat-based dished. My wife being a vegetarian gets a different recipe than this one presented. Serve with a traditional “Greek” salad and maybe a glass of ouzo.

Ingredients
  • Eggplant
  • 2 large eggplants / aubergines, cut into ¼” / ¾ cm thick slices
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Filling
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced (brown, white, yellow)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.4 lb / 700 g ground beef (mince)
  • 14 oz /400g crushed tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste (Note 1)
  • 1 cup beef broth/stock, or water + 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 1½ tsp sugar (any)
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • ¾ tsp salt

  • Bechamel Sauce
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 5 tbsp plain flour
  • 3 cups milk (I use low fat)
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg, freshly grated (optional)
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Salt and pepper

  • Topping
  • ⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs

  • Instructions

    1.Eggplant Sprinkle the eggplant with salt and place them (stacked) in a large colander. Leave to sweat for 30 minutes, then pat dry with a paper towel.

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    2.Preheat oven to 200C/390Lay eggplant onto 2 large baking trays, brush with olive oil and bake for 10 minutes or until just softened. Remove and set aside to cool.

    Filling

    1.Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, then cook the garlic and onion for 3 minutes. Add the beef and cook, using the wooden spoon to break up the mince as you go. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer, then cover, lower heat to medium-low and cook for 15 minutes.

    1.Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Add flour and cook for 1 minute, using a whisk to keep it moving.

    2.Add 1 cup of milk and whisk to combine. It will thicken quite quickly, then add the remaining milk. Whisk until smooth then cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until it thickens so that it thickly coats the back of a wooden spoon.

    3.Remove from the stove and whisk in cheese. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then whisk the eggs in.

    4.Add salt and pepper to taste.

    1.Preheat oven to 180C/350F (all oven types).

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    2.Place half the eggplant in the bottom of a baking dish (I used my 26cm/9″ Lodge skillet), then top with all the Filling.

    3.Top with remaining eggplant, then pour over the Béchamel Sauce, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until golden brown.

    4.Allow standing for 10 minutes before serving.

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