One of the most classic Greek dishes, Moussaka is a combination of meat, pasta and eggplants. Some recipes call for thinly sliced potatoes to be added as a bottom layer as well. While it may seem like a daunting task, making an authentic Moussaka is really not as difficult as you think. To make it even easier, you can make the elements of the recipe and put them together in individual serving containers rather than a whole casserole which is cut into pieces. Either way, we love Moussaka and offer this easy to follow recipe for you to give it a try.
1 pound ground meat (most often beef, but you could use lamb, pork, turkey or any combination, if you prefer)
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup diced onions
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1-2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 cup water
1 cup dry white wine
3-4 medium sized eggplants
salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste
For the Béchamel sauce topping:
1 quart whole milk, hot
1 cup flour
4 Tablespoons butter
salt, white pepper and grated nutmeg
1. In a large skillet, cook the onions in the olive oil until they are soft and clear.
2. Add the ground meat and cook, mixing together until crumbly.
3. Add the tomato sauce, white wine, water, salt, pepper, parsley and nutmeg (about 1/2 teaspoon – more or less to your taste). Cover the pan and cook for one hour over low heat.
4. While the meat mixture is simmering, cut the eggplants into round slices about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle them with salt and let them strain in a colander for 30 minutes.
5. When eggplant slices are ready, wipe them off then place in frying pan with 1/2 inch hot olive oil and fry the eggplant pieces until cooked through. Drain them on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
6. Make the béchamel sauce by melting the butter in a large saucepan, adding flour and stirring until smooth. Lower the heat and gradually add the hot milk, stirring constantly until it thickens. Season with salt and white pepper to taste, and add a dash of grated nutmeg.
7. Arrange the eggplants in a baking dish (can be one large dish or several smaller ones for individual servings) and cover with some bread crumbs.
8. Remove ground meat mixture from heat (it should now be thick and condensed, not soupy). Add half of the grated cheese and half of the breadcrumbs to the mixture and dread evenly over the eggplant slices.
9. Pour the béchamel evenly over the meat mixture, then sprinkle liberally with remaining cheese and breadcrumbs.
10. Drizzle melted butter over the béchamel sauce and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and heated through.
Cut into servings or serve individual bowls along with a delicious Greek salad and some crusty bread for a complete and satisfying meal.
THE QUICK BITE: An authentic Greek Moussaka is easier than you think to make. Try this recipe for Greek Moussaka at home.