Quick and easy
“Most versions are based primarily on sautéed aubergine (eggplant) and tomato, usually with minced meat. The Greek version includes layers of meat and eggplant topped with a white béchamel sauce and baked.”
When living in Greece/Glyfada at the age of 16-18, those were the times where the family and I really appreciated the Greek cuisine, by always eating out in local Greek taverns over the weekends. Normally, when we’d eat out, we’d always go for the seafood variety but on occasions go for the traditional lamb roast on a spit or moussaka.
You will need:
2 garlic cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1-2 bay leaf
Drizzle white wine
1 packet of minced beef or lamb
4-5 plum tomatoes
1-2 tablespoon of tomato puree
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 tablespoon of sugar
Home made bechamel or from the bottle
Thinly slice the eggplants into 1cm thick and lightly score the flesh with a knife, layer them on a tray before seasoning it in salt and olive oil. Oven bake them in 180 degrees till it is soft and nicely coloured, atleast 15-20 minutes. In a pan, sweat the chopped onions and garlic in vegetable oil on a medium to high heat. Add the cinnamon stick and bay leaf before mixing in the minced beef. In a separate pan, blanch the fresh tomatoes for 15 seconds in boiling hot water and refresh before peeling the skin. Deseed the tomatoes and disregard it, along with the skin. Roughly dice the tomatoes, adding it into the minced mix with the tomato puree, white wine, sugar and seasoning. Lower the heat to a medium to low, allowing the minced filling to simmer. Adjust the taste with oregano and seasoning. If the sauce looks to be too liquid, as a thickening agent, I use corn flour, allowing the filling to absorb as much liquid as possible. When layering the moussaka, start with the minced beef filling as a base then eggplant before adding a second layer of eggplant. Top it with bechamel and grated parmesan. Oven bake the moussaka at a 180-200 degrees for about 60 minutes. Before serving, best to wait for the moussaka to cool down for a while before cutting into pieces. This will allow the moussaka to set and hold itself when you serve. If you serve too early while it’s pipping hot, chances are the moussaka will be runny. Accompany the dish with a nice fresh salad.