Step 1: You will need
- 2 potatoes
- 3 aubergines
- 150 ml olive oil
- 100 ml vegetable oil
- 500 g beef or lamb meat, minced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 400 g tomato, chopped
- 3 tomato paste
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 bay leaves
- 100 g flour
- 75 g butter
- 750 ml milk
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 3 egg yolks
- 70 g grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
- 1 baking tray
- 1 brush
- 1 baking dish
- 3 saucepans
- 2 wooden spoons
- 1 set tongs
- 1 tray
- 1 frying pan
- 2 spoons
- some paper towel
- 1 peeler
- 1 cutting board
- 1 knife
- 1 whisk
Step 2: Preheat the oven
Set the oven to 250° degrees centigrade.
Step 3: Make the meat filling
Heat a deep saucepan. When very hot, begin adding the minced meat, adding a little oil if necessary. You need to maintain a hot pan so as to sear the meat. Adding the meat a little at a time can help.
When the meat is nicely browned, add the onions and a little more oil if needed. After a few minutes more, add the garlic and stir. Cook a few more minutes and then add in the tomato paste and blend it well.
Follow by adding the chopped tomato, the bay leaves, the cumin, the cinnamon and season with salt and pepper. Mix together well. Let it cook for about 20 minutes, making sure to stir occasionally so that the meat does not burn. Set aside when done.
Step 4: Peel and cut the aubergine
Start preparing the aubergine by cutting the head off first and then, using a peeler, peeling the vegetable along its length. Next, slice the peeled aubergine along its length into disks of about 1 cm in thickness.
When you choose aubergines, pick the ones with the shiny skins, that are firm to the touch, and that are not overly large in size.
Step 5: Season and bake the aubergine
Placed the sliced aubergine on a baking pan and brush them very generously with olive oil. Salt and pepper them well, turn them over, and repeat the process for the other side.
Place them in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until they are nicely browned.
Step 6: Fry the potatoes
Next, place the frying pan on a medium/high heat. Pour in all the oil and wait for it to heat up. When the oil is hot (but not too hot), carefully place the potatoes into the pan using the tongs.
When the potatoes are a golden brown, remove them from the oil and place them on a tray covered in paper towel which will absorb the excess oil. Now place the next batch in and repeat the process until all the potatoes are fried.
Once they are done, it will probably be time to remove the aubergines from the oven.
Every step until this point can be done well in advance if you want to cut down on you preparation time!
Step 7: Make the béchamel sauce
Begin the sauce by first warming up the milk without bringing it to a boil. After the milk is warmed, set it aside and place the bigger pan on the heat. Once hot, add the butter and allow it to melt. You can then add the flour and stir.
Now add the milk to the mixture and with a whisk, blend it constantly until it begins to thicken. Remove the sauce from the heat. With the pan off the heat, add the 3 egg yolks and whisk them in.
Follow this step by adding about one-half of the grated cheese and season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
Step 8: Assemble the moussaka
You are now ready to assemble your moussaka. Begin by layering the bottom of a baking dish with the potatoes. Next, add a layer of aubergine. Cover with a layer of minced meat and then add the rest of the aubergine. Next add the béchamel sauce.
To finish it off, sprinkle the top with the remaining grated cheese.
Step 9: Turn the oven down and bake
The moussaka is now ready for the oven. Remember to turn it down to 180°C and place the moussaka inside to bake for approximate 30 minutes.
Step 10: Serve
Moussaka is usually eaten warm and not straight out of the oven. In fact, its taste is enhanced if it is allowed to cool a little. You have now made this very traditional Greek dish.