Sunday, April 26, 2020

Easy Greek Moussaka Bake

Easy Greek Moussaka Bake

A traditional recipe for an iconic Greek dish! Layers of soft eggplant, beef or rich lamb, lightly spiced with oregano and cinnamon, topped with a thick layer of b├ęchamel sauce. It sounds like a lot of steps but the recipe has a good flow.

  • Olive oil
  • 350 g beef mince
  • Salt and pepper
  • 50 g feta cheese
  • 1 large brown onion chopped
  • 2 large zucchini sliced 1 cm thick
  • 1 large eggplant sliced 1 cm thick
  • 500 g homemade pasta sauce or passata
  • 3 medium potatoes sliced 1/2 cm thick
  • 125 ml dry red wine shiraz or cabernet sauvignon

For the bechamel
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 100 g butter
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • 1/3 cup parmesan
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 cups full cream milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese grated

  1. Preheat the oven to 220˚celsius (428˚F) and get ready for a moussaka party.
  2. Line two baking trays with baking paper and layer with eggplant and zucchini slices. Dab with olive oil and bake for 15 minutes. Take 'em out, flip 'em over and dab with a little more olive oil, then bake again for a further 15 minutes. Once they're done, pull them out and turn down the heat to 180˚C (356˚F).
  3. Setup a saucepan over a med-high heat and drizzle in 2 tbsp olive oil. Sizzle the onion until translucent, then add the beef mince and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook away until the beef is browned and any liquid is reduced.
  4. Next you'll need a separate frying pan (sorry for the dishes). Drop in a splash of olive oil and fry the potato slices on both sides over a medium heat, until they're lightly browned and delicious. Set aside.
  5. Yay! Now it's time to add the homemade pasta sauce or passata with 125 ml of red wine in with the beef and onion and cook away until the saucy mix reduces nicely.
  6. Now for the fun part. Layer up a nice large baking dish with half the potatoes, then half the beef sauce, then eggplant, then remaining potatoes, zucchini and finally the rest of the beef sauce. 
  7. Crumble the salty feta over the top.

For the bechamel
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the butter, flour and milk. Stir constantly and thoroughly with a small whisk to keep it smooth. This step goes against most bechamel recipes, but it hasn't failed us once! It will start to thicken after around 5 minutes.
  2. Remove the white sauce from the heat and add in the nutmeg, salt, pepper, shredded cheese and parmesan. Mix once more until smooth and cheesy.
  3. Pour the white sauce all over your moussaka base. Top with a few more sprinkles of grated cheese if you like (you know you want to) then pop it in the oven. Let it bubble away for another 20 or 30 minutes, or until that cheesy top is a glorious golden brown.Enjoy your dinner!