Moussaka

In my never-ending quest to find more ways to include lamb in our meals (I can’t help it, it’s my favorite meat!) I decided to start looking at Greek recipes — as evidenced by yesterday’s spanakopita recipe! I found moussaka intriguing, because I haven’t had eggplant since I was a little girl, and I wasn’t exactly its biggest fan at the time. My mom did her best to instill a love of veggies in me, and for the most part, it stuck… but eggplant was always one of the exceptions. I’m happy to report that is no longer the case! In the end, rather than use up my only package of lamb in the freezer and risk trying to find it in a local grocery store again (which is far more of an ordeal than it should be!) we ended up using ground beef instead of lamb, but the result was still quite tasty.

I have since bulked up our freezer’s stores; it currently contains six pounds of ground lamb. I don’t foresee a shortage at any point in the future!

moussaka

Moussaka

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 large eggplant
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, divided
  • 1/2 tsp tarragon
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 8oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 c red wine
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 c milk
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 3/4 c grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Slice your eggplant, lay the slices of eggplant on paper towels, sprinkle both sides lightly with salt, and set aside for 30 minutes to draw out the moisture; pat them dry with a paper towel. Then, in a skillet over high heat, heat the olive oil. Quickly fry the eggplant until browned. Set aside on paper towels to drain. Be careful, they will drink the olive oil like crazy! In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the ground beef, onions, and garlic. After the beef is browned, sprinkle in the cinnamon, nutmeg, tarragon and parsley. Pour in the tomato sauce and wine, and mix well. Simmer for 20 minutes. Allow to cool, and then stir in beaten egg. To make the bechamel sauce, begin by scalding the milk in a saucepan. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Lower heat; gradually pour in the hot milk, whisking constantly until it thickens. Salt and pepper to taste. Arrange a layer of eggplant in a greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Cover eggplant with all of the meat mixture, and then sprinkle 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese over the meat. Cover with remaining eggplant, and sprinkle another 1/2 cup of cheese on top. Pour the bechamel sauce over the top, sprinkle with the remaining nutmeg and cheese, and bake for 1 hour.

Fia Marquis

Fia Marquis is a home cook who enjoys gardening, creating recipes, collecting vintage Pyrex, cooking for herself and her husband, and trying to keep up with their toddler and three cats.

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