Monday, May 07, 2007

Original Greek Moussaka

Recipe from
5-6 large eggplants
sea salt
olive oil
4 medium onions, chopped
2 1/2 pounds of ground beef or lamb
3 cups of chopped ripe tomatoes with juice (or canned tomatoes)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
6-8 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon or a small stick (break off around 1 inch long)
1/8 teaspoon of ground allspice
2 bay leaves
1 cup of grated kefalotyri cheese (or pecorino)
1 cup of breadcrumbs
1/2 cup of dry red wine
3 tablespoons of tomatopaste
freshly ground pepper

Wash the eggplants and trim off stems. Cut off 1/2-inch wide strips of the skin lengthwise, leaving about an inch in between, all around the eggplant, then cut the eggplant lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices.
Put the slices in a large bowl or on a tray, sprinkle liberally with salt and let them sit for 30 minutes. Rinse well, drain, and pat dry.
Brush slices lightly on both sides with olive oil and run them under the broiler on an ungreased cookie sheet until lightly browned and soft. Remove and set aside to cool.Preheat the frying pan or skillet over low heat.
When the pan is hot, add 2 tablespoons of oil and increase the heat to medium low. Sauté the onions with a wooden spoon until they are translucent, add the meat and continue to sauté until lightly browned. Add tomatoes, 1/2 the breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, garlic, cinnamon, bay leaves, allspice, wine, and tomatopaste and mix well. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed, about 45 minutes to an hour. If there is still liquid in the pan, continue to simmer uncovered until the mixture is as dry as possible. When dry, remove the bay leaves and cinnamon stick (if used), and set aside uncovered until ready to use.
While the sauce is simmering, make the béchamel with cheese or 6 cups of basic béchamel, cover, and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).
Lightly oil the baking pan and sprinkle the bottom with the remaining breadcrumbs. Place a layer of eggplant slices on the breadcrumbs (it's ok to overlap) and spread the meat mixture evenly on top. Cover with the remaining eggplant slices, and carefully pour the béchamel sauce evenly over the top.
Bake for 30 minutes, then sprinkle the cheese over the top, and continue to cook for another 15 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.


mc said...

Hmmmm... looks sooooo delicious... I wish I could cook like that :)
keep on showing those marvelous recipes and tastefull pictures.
Miguel (Surfer31)

Alita said...

Hi Miguel!
In fact this moussaka was not cooked by me but served in Greece :)
I was only the photographer :)
Thank you for the comment!

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