Moussaka is one of the most traditional Greek dishes around and in my opinion, one of the most delicious. Traditional moussaka's use either lamb or beef, both work great so follow your taste buds and use either - here, I use beef.
1 handful fresh parsley, chopped (plus extra to top)
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1/2 to 1 teaspoon caster sugar
salt and black pepper, to taste
For the bechamel sauce
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons plain flour
500ml whole milk
2 egg yolks, whisked
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (plus extra to top)
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste
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Directions Preparation:30min › Cook:1hour30min › Extra time:30min › Ready in:2hours30min
Preheat the oven to 200 C / Gas 6.
For the base:
Cut off the stalk and bottom of the aubergine and peel your potatoes. Thinly slice them both into circular portions, I like mine around 1/2cm. Pop your aubergine slices in a colander and lightly sprinkle with salt (this will extract the bitterness and produce some liquid which will need to be drained away), set aside for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Oil and season up your potatoes and layer them at the bottom of a suitable oven-proof dish.
Bake the potatoes in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly brown and softened. Remove from the oven and keep the oven switched on.
Drain away the liquid produced by the aubergine and rinse the salt off under cold water. Oil and season your aubergine and layer these (in the opposite direction) on top of the potato.
Bake the aubergines and potatoes together in the oven for a further 20 minutes until light golden and softened.
For the meat sauce:
Whilst your potatoes are in the oven, get started on your meat sauce. Fry your onion and garlic in a little oil over a medium heat until lightly golden and soft, then add in your mince. Break up and stir until it is all cooked through and add in your wine. Simmer this for around 5 to 10 minutes to burn off the alcohol and release the flavour. Add in your tomato puree, stir for a minute then add in your tomatoes, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and seasoning to taste. Simmer for about 20 minutes, making sure the sauce is thickened and not too runny.
For the bechamel sauce:
For your bechamel sauce, melt your butter in a separate pan over a medium heat, being careful not to burn it. Stir in your flour with a whisk until a thick paste forms. At this point slowly and little by little, making sure you continue to whisk throughout, add in your milk – ensuring no lumps form. Once a thick sauce has formed, add in your egg yolks, Parmesan cheese, white pepper, nutmeg and seasoning to taste. Gently stir until thickened. Take 1/4 of your bechamel sauce and mix it with your meat sauce (strange I know, but it works).
Assemble your moussaka by topping your potato and eggplant with your meat sauce, then your bechamel sauce and topped with extra Parmesan.
Pop back in the oven for a final 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown on top. Allow to rest out of the oven for at least 30 minutes prior to serving and top with fresh parsley.