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Moussaka

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A popular Greek dish, this baked, four-layer casserole can also be found in vegetarian variations.

Recipe courtesy of Helen Kapsales

Ingredients:

  • 2 or 3 medium potatoes
  • 2 or 3 medium eggplant

 

For the meat sauce

  • olive oil  6 Tbsp  90 ml
  • 2 Spanish onions, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ground beef or lamb  2.2 lbs  1 kg
  • 2 bay leaves
  • dry mint  1 tsp  5 ml
  • chopped parsley  5 Tbsp  75 ml
  • salt  1 tsp  5 ml
  • pepper  1 tsp  5 ml
  • tomato paste  2 Tbsp  30 ml
  • tomato, skinned and diced  1 cup  250 ml
  • water  1/2 cup  125 ml

 

For the béchamel sauce

  • whole milk  4 cups  2 litres
  • butter  6 Tbsp  90 ml
  • flour  6 Tbsp  90 ml
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1 dash white pepper
  • 3 whole eggs

Directions:

Peel and slice potatoes and set aside. Slice the eggplant 1/2-inch (1.5-centimetre) thick, brush with oil and bake until half cooked. Set aside. For the meat sauce, sauté onions and garlic in oil. When ready, add ground beef and brown until meat is crumbled and has taken up its juices. Add remaining ingredients and simmer on medium heat for about 1 hour until meat sauce is cooked and thick.

For the béchamel sauce, bring milk to almost a boil. Just before it is ready, melt butter in a separate small saucepan (preferably non-stick) whisk in flour and lightly cook. Once ready, slowly whisk flour/butter roux into milk and continue heating on low heat until milk thickens. Remove milk from heat, beat eggs and whisk slowly into thickened milk.

Oil a deep 10-by-12-inch (25-by-30-centimetre) pan and lightly dust with bread crumbs. Start layering potatoes in an overlapping pattern and salt. Layer eggplant also in an overlapping pattern and salt as well. Pour the meat sauce evenly over eggplants and cover with béchamel and bake at 350°F (175°C) for 25 to 30

minutes until golden and béchamel has set. Allow Moussaka to set before cutting.

East Coast Living