Greek Moussaka (Eggplant Beef Bake)

Moussaka is to the Greek what Lasagna is to Italians. A rich tomato meat sauce layered with eggplant instead of pasta sheets, and topped with a thick layer of béchamel sauce, this traditional Greek recipe takes time to assemble – but it’s well worth the effort. This is serious comfort food – a low carb one!

A traditional recipe for an iconic Greek dish! Layers of soft eggplant, rich beef or lamb filling lightly spiced with oregano and cinnamon, topped with a thick layer of bechamel sauce.

Recipe by: recipetineats.com

Servings: 6 people

Ingredients

EGGPLANT
1 kg / 2 lb eggplant (aubergines) , 0.75cm / 0.3″ thick slices
1 tsp salt
2 – 3 tbsp olive oil

FILLING
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion , diced (brown, white, yellow)
3 garlic cloves , minced
1.4 lb / 700 g ground beef or lamb (mince) (Note 1)
1/2 cup (125ml) red wine , dry (optional)
14 oz /400g crushed tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup (250 ml) beef broth/stock (Note 2)
1 beef bouillon cube , crumbled (or 1 tsp powder)
2 bay leaves
1.5 tsp sugar (any)
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp cinnamon (or 1 stick, use whole)
3/4 tsp salt

BECHAMEL SAUCE
4 tbsp butter
5 tbsp plain flour
2.5 cups (625 ml) milk (any fat %)
1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated (optional)
1/2 cup (50g) parmesan cheese, grated (or Kefalotiri Cheese) (Note 3)
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1.25 tsp Vegeta, vegetable or chicken stock powder (or salt) (Note 4)
1/4 tsp pepper

TOPPING
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs (Note 5)

Instructions

EGGPLANT (NOTE 6)

  1. Place eggplant slightly overlapping in a large colander. Sprinkle with some salt. Repeat with remaining eggplant.
  2. Leave to sweat for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make Meat Sauce and Béchamel Sauce.
  3. Preheat oven to 240C/450F.
  4. Pat eggplant dry – make sure to do this well, otherwise it’s too salty. Lay on parchment paper lined trays (you might need 3 trays, work in batches), brush with oil.
  5. Bake 15 – 20 minutes or until lightly browned and softened . Remove and set aside to cool slightly.

MEAT SAUCE
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