A good moussaka is a joy to behold with cinnamon spiced lamb mingling with aubergines and a delicious creamy sauce. It is something I’ve always wanted to make but never have until my friends and I decided to have a Greek night. Perfect chance. I don’t know why I’ve not made one before. It’s extremely comforting and flavourful and well worth the effort.
- 2 large aubergines, cut into ¼” / ¾ cm thick slices
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, grated
- 500 g lamb mince
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 Tbsp plain flour
- 400g tinned plum tomatoes
- 3 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 cup chicken or lamb broth/stock, or water + 1 stock cube
- 1 tsp dried mint
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- ¾ tsp salt
- ½ tsp allspice (optional)
- Lemon zest and juice (optional)
- 4 tbsp butter
- 5 tbsp plain flour
- 3 cups milk
- ¼ tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- Salt and pepper
- ⅓ cup panko or fresh breadcrumbs
- Sprinkle the aubergines with salt and place them (stacked) in a large colander. Leave to sweat for 30 minutes, then brush off excess salt and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Preheat oven to 200C. Lay the aubergine onto 2 large baking trays, brush with olive oil and bake for 10 minutes or until just softened. Remove and set aside to cool.
- Heat olive oil in a pan over medium high heat then cook the garlic and onion for 3 minutes. Add the lamb and cook, using the wooden spoon to break up the mince as you go. Add the flour and herbs and stir. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer, then cover, lower heat to medium low and cook for 15 minutes.
- Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Add flour and cook for 1 minute, using a whisk to keep it moving.
- Add 1 cup of milk and whisk to combine. It will thicken quite quickly. 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.
- Remove from the stove and whisk in cheese. Allow to cool for 5 minutes then whisk the eggs in.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Preheat oven to 180C.
- Place half the filling in the bottom of a baking dish then half of the aubergine in a layer on top. Repeat the process with the remaining filling and aubergine.
- Pour over the béchamel sauce, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and a little extra grated cheese and bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until golden brown.
- Allow to stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.