Greek Beef Moussaka


So I've tweaked this recipe slightly this week, I've decided that it only needs one layer of each of the ingredients to A) be quicker to assemble, and B) not be overpowering on the eggplant.

While I love eggplant, it can have quite a strong flavour. Luckily, it also absorbs other flavours really well so is perfect for marinating, or better yet being put in this delicious Greek-style lasagna.

I supplemented the traditional lamb mince for beef mince as I find lamb is quite a strong-flavoured and fatty meat and I prefer beef. But if you are a lover of lamb then by all means use it, or if you'd like to use a combination of both then go for it!

You will need...
3 medium washed potatoes

TOMATO SAUCE
1 Tbsp olive oil
½ small brown onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
pinch dried herbs (oregano/thyme/basil)
350gr beef mince
400gr Italian diced tomatoes
1 Tbs tomato paste
salt and pepper
¼ tsp white sugar

EGGPLANT SLICES
1 medium eggplant
Cooking spray

CHEESE SAUCE
80g butter
1/3 cup + 1tbsp plain flour
2 1/4 cups milk
salt and pepper
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

TOPPING
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

Lemon wedge to serve


Method... (serves 6)


  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC.
 TOMATO SAUCE:
  1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan and sauté onion on low until transparent, add the crushed garlic and cook until fragrant.
  2. Turn up the heat to medium-high, add mince and cook until browned. Add tomato paste with chilli powder, herbs, salt, pepper and sugar, stir to coat.
  3. Add canned tomatoes with half a cup of water, bring to the boil then lower to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally for 25 minutes or until thickened. Taste and add extra seasoning if necessary.
 EGGPLANT / PREPARATION:
  1. Pierce potatoes with a fork and microwave until just cooked*, once cooked, allow to cool while you prepare the onion, garlic and eggplant. Use a small sharp knife to peel the skins off the cooked potato and cut into thin slices, set aside for assembly.
  2. Prepare the eggplant by cutting the top off, peeling roughly (leave a little bit of skin on for texture), then slicing into 1cm slices. Spray with cooking spray and lightly season.
  3. Heat a non-stick frypan to high heat, and cook eggplant in batches until browned then transfer to a large plate.
 CHEESE SAUCE:
  1. Melt butter in saucepan, add flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring well. Add the milk gradually off the heat, whisking out any lumps if necessary. Season with salt and cracked black pepper, return to heat and stir until thickened.
  2. Remove from the heat and mix in the ¼ cup of grated cheese until melted.

 ASSEMBLY OF MOUSSAKA:
  1. Grease a 20-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Line the base with the eggplant slices, top with the potato slices and then spoon over the mince. Use a spatula or palette knife to smooth out to an even thickness.
  2. Drizzle over the cheese sauce, use a clean spatula to gently spread the sauce to cover the mince. Top with the grated parmesan and cheddar.
  3.  Bake in oven for 20 minutes until golden.  Serve.

*If your microwave oven has a ‘jacket potato’ setting use this, if not cook potatoes for 3 minutes on high, turn and cook for a further 2 minutes. If potatoes still seem undercooked or really firm, continue cooking on high for 2 minute intervals.


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