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Greek Moussaka

Traditional Greek moussaka recipe, moussaka baked with layers of potatoes, eggplants, ground beef and bechamel sauce, foolproof recipe, amazingly flavorful!

I’ve been wanting to make moussaka again for the longest time and never got around to it until today. Oh my! I had totally forgotten how flavorful it is, all those slow baked potato, eggplant, ground beef and bechamel layers of flavors mingled together are unbelievably delicious!

Moussaka is one of those slow baked casseroles that take time to make but are so worth it.

The original recipe requires that the eggplants be fried prior to be layered in the casserole and that’s part of why this dish can be so long to make. I didn’t want to do that, first because I find there’s too much oil involved in the process and second too many pans and dishwashing, oh no no no, I skipped that part and for me the outcome was just fine!

I have also left out the nutmeg and cinnamon that are used to spice the ground beef, I can’t stand nutmeg and I didn’t like the idea of cinnamon into the beef but if you want to stick close to the original recipe, add a pinch of both.

Still, moussaka needs some prep: cooking the ground beef into a marinara sauce until almost dry, making the parmesan bechamel sauce, finally layering the casserole and baking it, if you make this recipe and I hope you do, expect to spend some time in the kitchen, it will all be forgotten when you hear the oohhs and aahhs from your tasters.

Here’s how I made this Greek moussaka:

  1. I started by cooking my ground beef in a flavorful marinara sauce until almost dry, to save time you could cook the beef on the previous day
  2. I put my sliced potatoes and onion into a bowl, sprinkled with salt, pepper, thyme, some olive oil, tossed to coat, layered into my casserole pan, baked for 20 minutes
  3. Did the same with my sliced eggplants, layered them on top of the potatoes, into the oven for 20 minutes
  4. Cooked the bechamel sauce, added some into the cooked ground beef, stirred to incorporate, layered the ground beef on top of the eggplants
  5. Spread the bechamel evenly on top of the beef, baked for 40 minutes
  6. Then I let cool for 1 hour before cutting into it, moussaka can be served hot, lukewarm or cool, as it cools it firms up and you’re able to cut nice, sharp edged portions, it’s also a great dish to make the day before or to bring to gatherings as it is also delicious cold

I hope you enjoy this recipe and if you do, please leave me a comment and let me know how it went!

  • 6 servings
  • Easy
  • 2 h 30

Recipe :

Ingredients:

Ground Beef:

1.32 pound (600 g) ground beef

1/2 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tsp dry thyme

1 tbsp. tomato paste

15 oz. (400 g.) canned tomato puree

Salt and pepper to taste

Some olive oil for cooking

Vegetables:

2 large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

1/2 onion, thinly sliced

1 large eggplant, thinly sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp dry thyme

Some olive oil

Bechamel sauce:

100 g butter

100 g all-purpose flour

1 liter milk

Salt and pepper to taste

2 egg yolks

1 cup (100 g.) parmesan, grated

Utensils:

1 baking/casserole pan 12x9 inches (30x23 cm)

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) fan mode, brush some olive oil into your casserole pan, set aside

Into a large frying pan, heat some olive oil on medium/high, add the chopped onion, cook until translucent, add the garlic, thyme, tomato paste, ground beef, toss to distribute, break the ground beef apart, cook until browned about 5 minutes, reduce the heat to medium/low, add the tomato puree, salt and pepper to taste, stir to distribute, cover with a lid and simmer for about  30 to 45 minutes or until the tomato puree is almost all absorbed

Into a bowl, add the sliced potatoes and onion, add salt and pepper to taste, a pinch of thyme, 1 tbsp. or more olive oil, toss to distribute, arrange in one layer into the casserole pan, into the oven for 20 minutes

Into the same bowl, add the sliced eggplant, add salt and pepper to taste, a pinch of thyme, 1 tbsp. or more olive oil, toss to distribute, arrange in one layer into the casserole pan on top of the potatoes, into the oven for 20 minutes

Make the bechamel sauce, into a large pan, on medium/high heat, melt the butter, add the flour to the melted butter, stir and cook about 2 minutes, add the cold milk, salt and pepper to taste, stir until the sauce thickens, remove from the heat, add the two egg yolks, stir to incorporate, add the grated parmesan, stir to distribute thoroughly, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary

Reduce the oven heat to 375°F (180°C) (NO FAN MODE), ladle 1/3 of the bechamel sauce into the beef, stir to distribute, pour the beef into the casserole pan and spread it on top of the eggplant layer

Ladle the bechamel sauce on top of the ground beef, spread it evenly to all corners, into the oven for 40 minutes

Out of the oven, let cool completely for about one hour before portioning, moussaka can be served warm, lukewarm or cold, it is really delicious cold but not chilled!

Enjoy!

Recipe inspired by Akis Petretzikis, click here for his method

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