Eggplant-Beef Moussaka Recipe
They often call it Greek. But it is very popular all over the Balkans. Moussaka is a great meal choice when entertaining…You can prepare ahead
Eggplants and meat sauce:
5-6 medium globe eggplants
A pinch of salt (do not use salt substitute- salt is used to eliminate the bitter taste of the eggplants)
Olive oil for sautéing and broiling
3 medium sweet onions, pеeled and chopped into small pieces
3 cloves of garlic, minced
7 whole garlic cloves
black pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp of freshly ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp allspice/to taste/
2 fresh bay leaves
3 cups ripe tomatoes chopped (substitute with 3 cups canned tomatoes with the juice, if desired)
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
½ cup red cooking wine/optional/
2.5 pounds (1.3 kg) of ground beef/or ground lamb
Grated Kefalotyri cheese for garnish /optional/
Béchamel sauce (make 6 cups)
¾ cup plus 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
¾ cups of unsalted butter
6 cups hot whole milk /substitute 2% milk if preferred/
2 egg yolks /separated from egg whites and beaten/
Sea salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ tsp nutmeg
• Eggplant preparation:
• Wash eggplants and trim the steams. Peel off the skin and cut lengthwise into medium-sized pieces. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle liberally with salt. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes.
• Rinse the eggplant slices and coat liberally with olive oil. Place in a baking tray.
• Broil for 10-15 minutes, until the eggplant is lightly browned and soft.
• Set aside to cool.
• Meat sauce preparation:
• Heat a lightly oiled skillet on medium-low heat. Sauté the onions and the garlic for 10 minutes, or until transparent and soft.
• Add the meat and sauté until lightly browned.
• Add tomatoes, and sprinkle half of the breadcrumbs. Mix thoroughly
• Add the spices tomato paste and wine. Cover the pen and simmer for 45-50 minutes or until all liquids are absorbed. If the mixture still contains liquids, uncover, and mix thoroughly for an additional 5 minutes until dry.
• Turn off the heat and set aside uncovered.
• Béchamel sauce preparation: – To save time, prepare the sauce while the meat is simmering.
• Melt the butter in a medium saucepan under low heat.
• Gradually add the flour, ¼ cup at a time and stir until smooth. Repeat until all of the flour is added.
• Increase the heat to medium-low and slowly ad the milk whisking constantly, until creamy and thick. Remove from the heat and add the beaten egg yolks and the spices.
• Return to the heat and whisk for an additional minute until all ingredients are combined. Set aside to cool.
• Assembly: – Preheat oven to 350F/180C/
• On a lightly oiled baking pan, sprinkle the remaining bread crumbs.
• Align the eggplants on top of the breadcrumbs.
• Spread the meat mixture on top of the eggplants.
• Cover the meat with remaining eggplants.
• Spread the béchamel sauce on top.
• Bake for 30 minutes, and then sprinkle the cheese on top. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until the top becomes golden brown.