Greek Moussaka (Eggplant Beef Bake)


2 large eggplants / aubergines, cut into ¼" / ¾ cm thick slices
2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced (brown, white, yellow)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.4 lb / 700 g ground beef (mince)
14 oz /400g crushed tomatoes (Note 1)
3 tbsp tomato paste (Note 1)
1 cup beef broth/stock, or water + 1 beef bouillon cube (Note 1)
1½ tsp sugar (any)
2 tsp dried oregano
¾ tsp salt

Bechamel Sauce (Note 2)
4 tbsp butter
5 tbsp plain flour
3 cups milk (I use low fat)
¼ tsp nutmeg, freshly grated (optional)
½ cup grated parmesan cheese (Note 3)
1 egg (Note 4)
1 egg yolk (Note 4)
Salt and pepper

⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs (Note 5)

Recipe Notes
  1. The original recipe only used 2 large tomatoes. I felt that this did not give the filling quite enough flavour for my taste so I increased the amount of tomato in it and added beef broth.
  2. I like to have plenty of Béchamel sauce on my Moussaka so I increased the flour by 1 tbsp and increased the milk slightly.
  3. Traditionally this is made with grated Kefalotiri Cheese which is a greek cheese that is not available in Australia (to my knowledge). Parmesan cheese is a close substitute.
  4. I found using 2 eggs + 1 yolk per the original recipe made the Béchamel sauce set too much for my taste. I like mine creamy, not firm custard like.
  5. The original recipe used fresh breadcrumbs. I like using panko because it saves making my own but still has more crunch than normal breadcrumbs.
  6. The main objective with the eggplant is to prepare it so excess water is removed before assembling the moussaka. Otherwise, it drops water while baking and you end up with a watery base - I've made this mistake before. 
  7. FREEZING: Cook per recipe, then allow to cool. Cover tightly with cling wrap then freeze. To reheat, thaw then reheat at 180C/350F for 25 minutes uncovered or until a knife inserted into the centre comes out hot.

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