Moussaka is a Greek classic, and here I’ll show you how to make it in the most delicious way possible!
Outrageously Delicious Greek Moussaka | Serves 8
FULL RECIPE POST: https://www.dontgobaconmyheart.co.uk/moussaka/
1.6lb / 750g Ground Beef (preferably fairly lean)
1 cup / 240ml Tomato Passata (pureed/strained tomatoes in US)
1 cup / 240ml Beef Stock
1/2 cup / 120ml Dry Red Wine (can sub more beef stock)
1/4 cup finely diced Fresh Parsley, plus extra to serve
2 heaped tbsp Tomato Paste (Tomato Puree in UK)
1 tbsp finely diced Fresh Thyme Leaves
1 large White Onion, finely diced
2 cloves of Garlic, finely diced
2 small or 1 large Bay Leaf
3/4 tsp Salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp Sugar (any)
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Black Pepper, or to taste
1 tbsp Olive Oil
4oz / 120g Unsalted Butter
4oz / 120g Plain Flour
4 cups / 1litre Milk, at room temp
1 cup / 80g freshly grated Pecorino Romano, plus extra to serve (Kefalotiri Cheese is traditional, can also sub parmesan)
2 Egg Yolks
1/2 tsp Salt, or to taste
1/2 small Nutmeg, grated (or 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg)
1/4 tsp White Pepper
Veg Layers (see notes for baking version):
2lb / 1kg (approx 4 smallish) Eggplants/Aubergine, sliced around 1/3″ thickness (I do lengthways do you can make more smaller rounds if you wish)
1.6lb / 750g (approx 2 large) Baking Potatoes, peeled & sliced around 1/4″
1lb / 500g (approx 2 medium) Zucchini/Courgettes, sliced into approx 1/3″ strips (I do lengthways)
2 cups / 500ml Vegetable or Olive Oil, or enough to cover veg in the pan
few pinches of Parsley & Pecorino (to sprinkle in between layers)
Salt & Pepper, as needed
Beef Layer: Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan or pot over medium heat. Add onion and fry until it begins to soften/brown, then add in garlic and fry for 1-2mins longer. Add in beef and break up with a wooden spoon until fully browned. Stir in tomato paste and fry for a couple of mins, then pour in wine. Deglaze the pan if needed, then pour in passata and beef stock. Add in parsley, thyme, cinnamon, salt, sugar, pepper & bay leaf and give it a good stir. Keep on a gentle simmer for around 30mins, stirring occasionally until nice and thick. Meanwhile…
PREP Veg Layer: Rest few sheets of paper towel on a flat surface and lay on your eggplant slices. Rub a pinch of salt over both sides, then add two layers of paper towels on top. On top of that add the zucchini slices, followed by another layer of paper towel, followed by potato slices and finished with another layer of paper towel. Gently press down to soak up the moisture. Can use tea towels instead if you wish.
COOK Veg Layer: Heat up enough oil to cover the veg in a suitably sized pot/pan until it gently sizzles (you’re aiming for around 150C/300F). Carefully start sliding in your potato slices and fry both sides until lightly golden with the potato fork tender. Remove, shake off oil and place on fresh paper towel. Increase oil temp slightly to around 170C/340F and fry the zucchini slices until softened & lightly browned, then finish with the eggplant slices. Leave everything to drain on paper towels. You can use two pans to speed things up or bake one or two of the veg (see notes).
Béchamel Sauce: In a suitably sized pot over medium heat melt butter. Stir in flour to create a paste then gradually begin whisking in your milk. Once you’ve poured in all the milk and the sauce is thick, stir in salt, white pepper and nutmeg. Take the pot off heat and stir in pecorino until the sauce is lump free, then quickly whisk in the egg yolks. Take 1/2 cup of the sauce and stir it into the beef.
Stack Moussaka: Add a layer of potato to the baking dish (overlapping as needed) and sprinkle over a hefty pinch of parsley, pecorino, salt & pepper. Follow with zucchini and parsley/pecorino/salt/pepper, then half the eggplant with a pinch of salt and pepper. Try and close all the gaps and make it all nice and compact. Spread over beef layer, top with the rest of your eggplant then top with the Béchamel sauce.
Cook & Serve Moussaka: Finish with a sprinkling of pecorino then place in the oven at 180C/350F for 35-45mins, or until golden on top. I highly recommend leaving it to sit for at least 15mins, just to help it keep shape. Serve up and enjoy!
As always, for full nutrition, guidance and recipe notes head to the full blog post: https://www.dontgobaconmyheart.co.uk/moussaka/
STAY IN TOUCH