Posts tagged ‘moussaka’

December 1, 2010

Moussaka!

i’m not sure what possessed me to make this for thanksgiving this year. maybe it’s ’cause my cousin wanted to make hummus and i figured “well we might as well complete it with a Mediterranean feast!”

i’m a masochist.

anyway, it’s really not as difficult as it looks. just time consuming. and messy.

really. i’m still cleaning up from last Thursday.

I kind of threw this all together with 5 different recipes I found online, so nothing is really exact. i’ll include tips throughout on what i learned what what i’ll do differently next time.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 lb lean ground beef (85%)
  • 3/4 lb ground lamb
  • 1 large yellow onion, minced
  • 2 eggplants
  • 2 medium white potatoes (not russet)
  • 1 can tomato sauce or a few tbs tomato paste.
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1-2 tbs oregano
  • 1-2 tbs parsley
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp all spice (optional)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt

Béchamel Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup cheese, hard. grated.
  • 4 cups milk
  • 8 tbs butter
  • 8 tbs flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • nutmeg
  • pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. in a hot pan, heat oil and saute onions until translucent on med-high heat. ~10 min. season with cinnamon, oregano, bay leafs and enough salt that it tastes a bit over salted. remove from pan and set aside.
  2. wash and skin eggplants, leaving a few stripes for extra texture, support.
  3. slice eggplants into thin, 0.5 cm thick circles. salt generously and set aside to pull out moisture. 30 min.
  4. skin potatoes and slice 0.5 cm thick strips. (along the long meridian, not the short). i found that long strips were easier to arrange in the pan than circles. think tetris… when purchasing potatoes, get rectangular-ish tubers that stay pretty uniform in girth throughout. not egg shaped.
  5. heat 1/2 cup or so of vegetable oil on high in a pan until it shimmers. fry potatoes until golden brown, flipping when necessary.
  6. after each batch, set fried potatoes on a paper towel lined rack to drain off excess oil.
  7. while potatoes fry (it will take several batches), rinse off eggplant slices and pat dry with paper towels. broil in oven ~10 min. remove from oven and set aside.
  8. pour out excess oil and dispose of it properly. heat pan again and brown meat, breaking it up as you cook.
  9. when meat is still slightly pink, add onions and tomato sauce. mix in and remove bay leaf. i may substitute with tomato paste in the future. i used half a can of diced tomatoes and half a can of tomato sauce and found the resulting meat mixture to be a bit too liquid-y.
  10. pour in wine and reduce heat to simmer until liquid reduces. remove from heat.
  11. salt to taste.

bechamel sauce:

  1. heat milk slowly (to avoid curdling) in a small sauce pan: on low heat, simmer one cup until small bubbles form. then slowly pour in more and more milk each time you begin to see bubbles until all 4 cups are heated.
  2. melt butter in a medium sauce pan. introduce flour, one tbs at a time, until a thick roux is formed. stir constantly!
  3. add milk, a little at a time while stirring non-stop, into a thick creamy mixture.
  4. add nutmeg and pepper to taste.
  5. stir in 1-2 egg yolks. (i used 2 large egg yolks. texture was more custard-y and less sauce-y.)

putting it together!:

  1. preheat over to 350F
  2. in a deep baking dish (i used a large 9×13 pyrex dish), evenly line bottom with potatoes. then layer on overlapping eggplants slices.
  3. pour meat mixture evenly over eggplants.
  4. top with another layer of eggplants.
  5. pour in béchamel sauce
  6. grate a hard cheese of your preference over the top. (not sure why i bothered this this step. should’ve just melted it straight into the béchamel sauce before pouring.)
  7. bake for 45min – 1hr
  8. remove from oven to cool. reheat before serving for serve room temperature!