Friday, 2 December 2016

Moussaka


A good moussaka is a joy to behold with cinnamon spiced lamb mingling with aubergines and a delicious creamy sauce.

Moussaka is an eggplant- or potato-based dish, often including ground meat, in the cuisines of the countries of the former Ottoman Empire, with many local and regional variations. 

In Turkey, it is sauteed and served in the style of a casserole, and consumed warm or at room temperature. In Arabic countries, a variant is eaten cold. In the Balkans, the dish is layered and typically served hot. Many versions have a top layer made of milk-based sauce thickened with egg (custard) or flour (b├ęchamel sauce).



Moussaka


Ingredients
Aubergines / Brinjal (cut into 1cm/½in slices) - 2
Sea salt - 1  table spoon
Lamb mince - 750g
Onion (finely chopped) - 1
Garlic cloves (crushed) - 2
Oregano (dried) - 1 teaspoon
Mint (dried) - 1½ teaspoon
Bay leaves - 2
Cinnamon stick - 1
Plain flour - 1  table spoon
Chopped tomatoes can - 400g
Tomato puree - 2  table spoon
Olive oil - 7  table spoon
Potatoes (peeled, sliced into 1cm/½in slices) - 500g
Sea salt (to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

For the white sauce
Ricotta - 125g
Parmesan (finely grated) - 25 g
Greek yogurt - 125g
Eggs - 3
Nutmeg (freshly grated) (to taste)
Salt (to taste)
Black pepper (freshly ground)
Moussaka

Moussaka
 

Recipe
  1. Place the aubergine pieces in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat three tablespoons of the oil in a heavy-based frying pan.
  3. Add onions, garlic, oregano, mint, bay leaves and cinnamon and cook for 5 minutes
  4. Add Lamb mince and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the meat.
  5. Stir in the flour, salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. 
  6. Add tomatoes, tomato puree and bring to a simmer. 
  7. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the lamb is tender and the sauce has thickened. 
  8. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Set aside.
  9. Rinse the aubergine pieces under cold running water and pat dry in a clean tea towel. 
  10. Heat three tablespoons of the oil in a heavy-based frying pan.
  11. Fry the aubergines for 2-3 minutes on each side, adding more oil when necessary. 
  12. Remove from the pan and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.
  13. Cook the potatoes in boiling water for five minutes, then drain in a colander under running water until cold.
  14. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C (fan).
  15. Spoon one third of the meat sauce into a large, shallow ovenproof dish.
  16. Cover with a layer of potatoes and a layer of aubergines.
  17. Repeat the layers twice more, finishing with the aubergines.
  18. For the topping, in a bowl, beat together the ricotta, half of Parmesan, Greek yogurt, eggs and grated nutmeg until well combined.
  19. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  20. Pour over the white sauce, making sure it covers in a thick, even layer.
  21. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.
  22. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, or until deep golden-brown and bubbling.

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