Homemade Moussaka Recipe

Discover the secret to perfect homemade moussaka with our step-by-step recipe. Learn how to make this classic Greek dish featuring layers of tender eggplant, flavorful meat sauce, and creamy béchamel. Ideal for family dinners and special occasions.

Ingredients

For the Eggplant Layer:

  •  2 large eggplants, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
  •  Salt
  •  Olive oil for brushing

For the Meat Sauce:

  •  2 tablespoons olive oil
  •  1 large onion, finely chopped
  •  2 cloves garlic, minced
  •  1 pound ground lamb or beef
  •  1 can (14 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  •  2 tablespoons tomato paste
  •  1/2 cup red wine
  •  1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  •  1 teaspoon ground allspice
  •  1 teaspoon dried oregano
  •  Salt and pepper to taste
  •  1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

For the Béchamel Sauce:

– 4 tablespoons butter
– 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
– 2 cups whole milk, warmed
– 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
– 2 egg yolks, beaten
– Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Preparing the Eggplant:

1. Slice and Salt: Slice the eggplants into 1/4-inch rounds. Place them on a baking sheet, sprinkle both sides generously with salt, and let them sit for about 30 minutes to draw out the moisture. Pat dry with paper towels.
2. Brush with Olive Oil: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with olive oil.
3. Bake: Arrange the slices on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes until they are golden brown and tender, flipping halfway through.

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Making the Meat Sauce:

1. Sauté Onions and Garlic: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
2. Brown the Meat: Add the ground lamb or beef to the skillet and cook until browned, breaking it up with a spoon.
3. Add Tomatoes and Spices: Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, red wine, cinnamon, allspice, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Stir in the chopped parsley and set aside.

Making the Béchamel Sauce:

1. Melt Butter and Add Flour: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly, to create a roux.
2. Add Milk and Nutmeg: Gradually whisk in the warmed milk until the mixture is smooth and thickened. Add the ground nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.
3. Add Cheese and Egg Yolks: Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the grated Parmesan cheese. Allow the mixture to cool slightly before whisking in the beaten egg yolks.

Assembling the Moussaka:

1. Layer the Ingredients: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). In a 9×13-inch baking dish, layer half of the eggplant slices on the bottom. Spread the meat sauce evenly over the eggplant. Top with the remaining eggplant slices.
2. Top with Béchamel: Pour the béchamel sauce over the top layer of eggplant, spreading it out evenly.
3. Bake: Bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, until the top is golden brown and bubbly.
4. Cool and Serve: Let the moussaka cool for 15-20 minutes before serving. This helps it set and makes it easier to cut into portions.

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