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This is my adaptation of a number of moussaka recipes that I found and melded together. I took all my favourite parts from each recipe and came up with my own...I was pleasantly surprised. I serve this at about room temperature as it holds together better, but it freezes well and is excellent the next day cold or reheated. Goes down great with a greek salad, fresh oregano and a nice bottle of red wine...
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 1⁄2 cup red wine
- 1 tablespoon beef bouillon powder
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 -2 tablespoon fresh oregano, parsley and rosemary, chopped
- 1 (746 ml) can diced tomatoes
- 1 large eggplant
- 2 large russet potatoes
- 1⁄4 cup flour
- 1⁄4 cup butter
- 3 cups milk
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup aged cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- salt and pepper
- In a large skillet saute onions and garlic on medium heat until just starting to brown, add ground beef and continue to saute for 3 - 4 minutes or until beef is 3/4 cooked.
- Add beef bouillion and cinnamon to beef mixture and continue cooking until beef is almost fully cooked (about 2 - 3 more minutes)
- Add red wine and simmer for 2 - 3 minutes, then add the can of diced tomatoes and 3/4 of the chopped herbs.
- Lower temperature to minimum and simmer, stirring occasionally. Let sauce simmer while preparing the rest of the dish, aprox 45 minutes.
- Take eggplant and thinly slice and lay out on a sheet pan covered in a clean tea towel or paper towel. Lightly salt one side of eggplant and let sit for 15 minutes, flip over and repeat above step. (this will remove the moisture from the eggplant which will take away the bitter aftertaste you can sometimes get).
- While eggplant is resting boil the two large russet potatoes for about 20 - 30 minutes or until 3/4 cooked. Leave the skins on. (Hint: when you go to boil the potates, make a score mark around the whole middle of the potato just lightly cutting through the skin around the whole circumferance of the potoato, this will help with peeling it later).
- Once potatoes are cooked remove from heat and let cool slightly. Remove peels from potatoes. (If you made the circular cut on the potato gently grasp on end of the potato, give it a slight turn, holding on to the skin and the skin should just slide off into your hand.).
- Set peeled potatoes aside and let cool.
- Toss eggplant slices in a small amount of olive oil and now you can either grill or oven roast the slices. I prefer to lightly grill my eggplant as I love the charcoally taste and smell it brings to the dish. So to oven roast the eggplant, place on a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes at 350 F or until eggplant is tender. If grilling, place eggplant on hot grill and lightly grill on both sides until eggplant is tender, about 3 - 4 minutes per side.
- Remove eggplant from heat and set aside to cool.
- Thinly slice cooled potatoes, line bottom of 9x13 baking pan with sliced potates. Top with meat mixture and then with grilled eggplant, making sure whole top is covered if possible.
- In a medium sauce pan over medium heat melt butter and add flour, whisking well to create a roux. Slowly add the milk one cup at a time, mixing well to avoid lumps. If sauce is too thick add a bit more milk to thin out. When milk is all in add the shredded cheese, remove from heat and whisk in lightly beaten eggs, mix well. Add rest of fresh chopped herbs, mix well.
- Pour mixture over the top of the eggplant, making sure it is evenly dispersed. (you can freeze this dish at this point and save for another time).
- Bake in oven at 350 F for about 1 hour or until top is all golden brown and bubbly. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Cut into slices and enjoy.