Wow, the first proper dish cooked in the new house, and in a proper kitchen with actual windows and natural light, and space for more than one person (i.e. not a tiny, windowless box). Woohoo!
So anyway, this is my moussaka recipe. It’s pretty standard I think, moussaka is one of those things which, like lasagna, you can’t really go too far wrong with (unless you add potatoes – in which case, you are v odd!). I add eggs to the bechamel which helps it to fluff out a bit more, giving a really nice thick topping (my favourite part!). Also, unlike when I make aubergine parmigiana, I oven bake the aubergines instead of frying them as I find that the lamb gives enough fat as it is and you want to aubergines to be able to absorb some of it. Also, its a lot quicker as no salting involved.
Moussaka – Serves 4
- 2 large aubergines
- 500g lamb mince
- mixed herbs
- mixed spice
- 1 glass red wine
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 50g butter (a good chunk)
- 2 tbsp flour
- 500ml milk
- 50g parmesan or peccorino etc
- 2 beaten eggs
First, heat the oven to 180 degrees c (or gas mark 4 – new oven!). Slice the aubergines quite thinly lengthways and lightly oil them, put on baking trays and pop them in the oven.
Now, finely chop the onion and fry until soft. Add the lamb, garlic and a teaspoon each of the herbs and spices and fry on a high heat until the lamb is browned. Turn the heat down, add the tomato puree, wine and a splash of water and leave to bubble away for 30 mins.
Whilst its cooking, make the bechamel topping: heat the milk until almost boiling and put aside. Melt the butter and stir in the flour to make a roux then gradually add the hot milk, whisking as you go. Bring it to the boil to thicken the sauce then take off the heat and add the grated cheese, salt and pepper. Leave to cool for about 5 mins then beat in the eggs.
All the components are now ready! Start the layering with a layer of aubergines, then meat, aubergines, meat again and finally whatever aubergines you have left (not enough in my case!).
Top with the bechamel and bake in the hot oven for 20-30 mins or until the top is golden brown. I’ve read that it tastes better left to rest a bit to allow the flavours to mingle but we couldn’t wait! I’ll get Tom to report back when he has the leftovers this week.
So first post from the new house! We’re still unpacking….