Greek Moussaka Recipe
During the wonderful five days of female paradise that I spent with friends in Greece happened that I tasted Greek moussaka at three different places. Usually, I quickly get tired of the seafood taste, even if it as tasty as it is in Greece, and go back to my usual diet of vegetables. In all three restaurants, although the moussaka was prepared differently, it was delicious and offering an intense and juicy taste that then I couldn’t guess where it came from. My conclusion was that the Greek moussaka is almost totally different from the Bulgarian one, in my opinion. When I got home I decided to solve the mystery and make homemade Greek moussaka. For that reason, I used a recipe from the blog of Joana (in Bulgarian), and pictures too as my moussaka was not looking so well. Below you can see a link to the original recipe.
- 1 kg aubergines
- 500g ground meat (best is mixture of 75% beef and 25% pork)
- 100 ml olive oil
- 1 onion
- 100 ml dry white wine
- 600 g tomatoes
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves heads
- 1/2 bunch of parsley
- 150 g Gruyere cheese (in the original Greek version is used Kefalograviera cheese)
- salt and pepper
For the béchamel sauce:
- 500 ml of cold milk
- 30 g butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 40 g flour
- salt, white pepper, nutmeg
Cut the eggplants lengthwise into slices. Place the pieces in a bowl with salt water and leave them for 15-20 minutes. Later drain and dry them with kitchen paper. Arrange the aubergine slices in one layer in a tray, salt lightly and pour a little olive oil. Bake at 200 °C for 20 minutes until they become tender and acquire color. Remove from oven and leave in a warm place.
Chop the onion finely. In a saucepan heat the remaining olive oil and make the onions sautéed for 2-3 minutes. Add the ground meat and stir for few minutes until the color changes. Add salt and pepper and pour the wine, tomatoes, cinnamon and cloves. Then when the sauce starts boiling reduce the stove power to a simmer. Allow to simmer for about 1 hour until the liquid evaporates and the sauce stays fat. Remove the pot from heat and thank out the cinnamon stick and cloves. Add chopped parsley to the sauce.
For the béchamel sauce blend olive oil and butter and heat over medium heat. Add the flour at once and stir for 30 seconds with a wire whisk. Stir continuously and pour cold milk on trickle. Continue stirring until the béchamel thickens. Get it out of the heat and flavor with salt, white pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg.
Use the deep pan, approximately 30 × 18 cm, and spread with a little olive oil. At the bottom half arrange the eggplants. Sprinkle with 1/3 of Gruyere cheese. Pour the sauce over ground meat over and spread evenly. Arrange the remaining eggplant and sprinkle with half of the remaining cheese. Cover with the remaining béchamel and Gruyere cheese. Bake the moussaka in preheated oven at 180 °C for 35-40 minutes until the béchamel become golden.
The best thing about this recipe is the use and mix of cloves and cinnamon, which some may find odd but goes perfectly with the meat and eggplant. Try it!
Source: In the kitchen with Joanna