Rich, meaty, topped with a creamy sauce and baked in the oven until golden and bubbling, try this moussaka recipe for a perfect winter’s night in.
We love to visit other countries, and one that is particularly close to my side of the family is Cyprus. My mum was born there and now my parents have a home there. Therefore, of course, a lot of our inspiration comes from Greek and Cypriot food. I love the fresh salads covered with feta and olives, the slow cooked lamb, the barbecued pork and home made chips. oh, and who could forget the dips! hummus, taramasalata, tzatziki, tahini, with warm pita bread and a carafe of village wine…I could eat this food every night. But I digress…
One of our big favourites is moussaka. Some of the best moussakas I have had in Cyprus are the ones from the local takeaways and they always have their own identity and flavour. There are lots of different ways to make this dish and you can add more spices according to your taste. You can also use beef instead of lamb if you prefer.
This recipe serves 4 (or 3 if one of you is as hungry as my fiance). Serve with a fresh Greek salad of cos lettuce, chunks of cucumber, tomato, onion and feta cheese.
- Prep Time : 40 minutes
- Cook Time : 30 minutes
- Lamb mince - 500g
- 1 medium onion - diced
- 1 large aubergine - sliced lengthways 1cm slices
- 3 medium sized potatoes - peeled and sliced thinly
- chopped tomatoes - 1 tin
- garlic - 1 clove, crushed
- oregano (preferably fresh) - 1 teaspoon
- cinnamon - 1 stick
- tin chopped tomatoes
- butter - 25g
- plain flour - 2 tablespoons
- milk - 3/4 pint
- 1 egg
- Nutmeg - 1/2 teaspoon
- grated parmesan or cheddar - handful
- olive oil - 1 tablespoon
1. Pre heat oven to 200 degrees centigrade
2. Put a saucepan on a medium heat. Pour in the oil and add the garlic and onions. Cook for around 10 minutes until the onion has softened.
3. Add the lamb to the saucepan and brown for about 5 minutes. Pour in the tomatoes and stir in the cinnamon stick. Simmer on a low heat for 40 minutes.
4. While your sauce is cooking, heat a grill pan. Drizzle the aubergine and potato with olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Fry the aubergine for a minute or two on each side until griddle marks appear and they are slightly softened. You will probably need to do this in batches. Do the same with the potatoes and keep them and the aubergines to one side.
5. Place another saucepan on a low heat. Add the butter. When melted sprinkle over the flour and stir until a paste is formed.
6. Slowly pour in the milk whilst stirring with a whisk. Keep stirring and adding the milk until the mixture is nice and thick, but not gloopy. This should take about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, throw in the cheese and the nutmeg and season generously with salt and pepper. Crack the egg into the sauce and stir in.
7. Remove the cinnamon from the meat sauce. Season with salt, pepper and the oregano.
8. Get a baking dish (approx 12 by 6 inches) and line the bottom with one layer of potato slices. Follow with a layer of sauce, a layer of aubergines and then the white sauce. Repeat the layers, finishing with a thick, even layer of white sauce.
9. Place in the oven for about 30 minutes until golden and bubbling.