Moussaka is perhaps the most widely recognized of all Greek dishes it is a casserole made by layering eggplant with a spiced meat filling then topping it off with a creamy béchamel sauce that is baked to perfection. 👌👌👌
To make this dish you would need the following :
– 1 lbs. ground beef
-2 large onions, finely diced
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1/2 cup red wine
-1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
-1 tsp. ground cinnamon
-1/4 tsp. ground allspice
-1 can diced tomatoes
-2 tbsp. tomato paste
-1 tsp. sugar
-Salt and pepper for taste
For the béchamel sauce you will need:
-1 cup salted butter (2 sticks)
-1 cup flour
-4 cups milk, warmed
-Chicken broth cube
So lets get started shall we ? ☺
1st step is to Prepare the egg plant :
-Some people like to grill or bake the egg plant – but because I’m not a fan of the taste I like to boil mine so the flavor is not overwhelming.
Cut the eggplant into round pieces and put them into the pot of boiling water with a bit of salt – boil until they soften and turn translucent, could take about 5-7 mins. When that’s done lay them down over paper towels so they are not all wet and soggy when putting them into the baking pan.
Now we go to the filling ☺
How to make the meat filling :
In a large pan, brown the ground beef until it turns brown. Add onion and sauté until translucent, then add garlic and cook until it smells good!
Add wine to the mixture and allow it to simmer and reduce a bit before adding cinnamon, allspice, parsley, tomato paste, canned tomatoes, and sugar. Allow the sauce to simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes so that excess liquid can evaporate. The sauce should be a dry tomato sauce add salt and pepper for additional flavor.
Now to the béchamel sauce :
( My secret to this sauce is what I add to the milk. I heat up the milk with half a cube of chicken broth and a pinch of nutmeg then I put it aside )
Now on a medium pot pan you melt the butter over low heat. Using a whisk, add flour to melted butter whisking continuously till it starts to turn into a smooth paste you may allow the flour to cook for a minute but do not allow it to brown. Slowly start adding the warm milk into the pot whisking continuously. Simmer it over low heat until it thickens a bit but does not boil and add Parmesan cheese into the mixture ! Also another secret of mine ☺ you may use other kinds of cheese if you wish.
Now that you have all 3 prepared you can now assemble the moussaka
In a large deep baking pan (lasagna pan). Add a thin layer of the meat sauce, then layer the egg plant on it like you were making lasagna once it’s all covered add more meat sauce
Over it and sprinkle some Parmesan cheese then add another layer of egg plant – repeat this till your baking dish is almost full then you pour the béchamel sauce over the eggplant and be sure to allow sauce to fill the sides and corners of the pan. Smooth the béchamel on top with a spatula and sprinkle with grated cheese and your good to finally bake it ! Bake in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes or until béchamel sauce is a nice golden brown color. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
It’s not the easiest dish to make It does take sometime but it’s so worth it !
This dish is great for parties, dinners and get togethers ❤