“Moussaka”, refers to the traditional Greek dish with the delicious layers of baked potatoes and eggplants along with a juicy layer of beef or beef/pork mince in the middle, topped off with a creamy béchamel sauce. This dish is considered to be a little yet delicious sin!
Preparation time: 45 min (approximately)
Cook time: 90 min
Portions : 9 pieces (normal size baking tray)
- 2 medium eggplants
- 3 large potatoes (approximately 500 gr)
- salt and pepper
- a pinch of oregano
- 5-6 tablespoons of Greek extra virgin olive oil
For the mince:
- 500 gr of beef mince (could also be ½ beef and ½ pork mince)
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 2-3 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon of sweet paprika
- 2 pinches of sugar
- 1-2 teaspoons of the mix for moussakas
- a tin of chopped tomatoes
- 4-5 tablespoons of Greek extra virgin olive oil
For the béchamel sauce:
- 100 gr butter
- 100 gr flour
- 1 litre of milk
- 1-2 yolks of eggs
- a pinch of grated nutmeg
- 100 gr grated cheese
This traditional Greek dish takes only 6 steps to make it and these are:
- Preheat the oven at 180 C.
- Prepare the potatoes and eggplants: Traditionally the potatoes and eggplants are shallow fried. However, for a lighter alternative, drizzle your sliced eggplants and potatoes with some olive oil, season with salt and pepper and some oregano to add extra flavour. Bake them in sheet pans for 40 minutes at 180C.
Tip: Some eggplants may be bitter, so it is important to prepare them correctly to remove their bitterness. Before baking the eggplants, slice them, rinse them thoroughly with water, season with salt and let them stand for half an hour in a colander. This method makes them taste amazingly sweet and with no hint of bitterness!
- Prepare the mince whilst the vegetables are being baked in the oven: Add the olive oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion for almost a minute. Add the garlic and sauté until softened. Add the meat with the mix for the Mousakas and continue sautéing. Then add the rest of the herbs and simmer with the chopped tomatoes until cooked (approximately 25 min). At the end, remove the bay leaves from the meat sauce.
Tip: Add some extra salt, if needed. The Moussaka needs to be well seasoned!
Tip: Add 2 ladles of the béchamel sauce when it is cooked into your meat, that will transform the whole meal into a unique dish!
- Prepare the béchamel sauce: Start by first melting your butter on medium heat. Then remove the pot from the stove and add all the flour. Whisk it until the butter is fully absorbed into the flour. Place the pot back on the stove and add the milk a little bit at a time and wait for the milk to absorb. Continue by adding some more until you have used all the milk in the recipe. Remove the pan from the stove and add the cheese and the nutmeg. Whisk them well. Finally add the egg yolks and quickly whisk so the eggs fully incorporate in the mixture.
Tip: Whisk constantly while adding the milk. Cooking the béchamel sauce while whisking over a low heat will prevent it from burning and sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Assemble the Moussaka: Start by layering the potatoes at the bottom of the baking pan and then spread the eggplants over the potatoes. Using a large ladle or spoon, pour the meat sauce over the eggplants and spread it out evenly. Spread the second layer of potatoes over the meat. If you have too few potatoes or eggplants, space them out a bit. If you have too many, overlap them a bit so they all fit. Finally, using a large ladle, add the béchamel sauce and spread it out evenly, making sure your whole moussaká is covered. Sprinkle a bit of grated cheese on top. When you bake the moussaká the cheese will melt and give it a delicious golden brown color!
Tip: Remember to add 2 ladles of the béchamel sauce into your meat.
- Bake the Moussaka at 180 C for 90 minutes.
Tip: Allow to rest for at least half an hour before serving.
Serve this delicious dish with a greek salad and your favorite “Mythos” beer !
Share your comments and thoughts about the recipe or any questions you might have.
Kali oreksi / Enjoy your meal !