Good morning my friends, today for the 600th post anniversary, I got a very special recipe for you from my country traditional kitchen, it’s not so easy but believe me it worth a try .
For the base
oil for frying
For the minced meat
750gr. ground beef
2 onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 can of tomatoes
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. sugar
1 glass of red wine
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 bay leaf
1 pinch of cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
Or a cup of olive oil
For the béchamel
900ml milk (3 and ¾ of the cup)
a pinch of nutmeg
2 egg yolks
100gr. parmesan or kefalotyri or gruyere, grated
To make this traditional moussaka recipe, start by preparing the aubergines and potatoes. Remove the stalk and cut them into slices about 1cm. in thickness. Salt, put them in a colander and leave for 30 minutes. Peel the potatoes and cut into 1cm slices. in thickness.
Rinse the aubergines with plenty of water and squeeze the excess water with your hands. Dry them with a little paper and fry in plenty of oil until they get a nice color. Put the aubergines on absorbent paper. Peel the potatoes and cut into 1cm slices. in thickness. Fry in plenty of oil and leave on absorbent paper. For a lighter version of the traditional moussaka, sprinkle the aubergines and potatoes with oil and salt and bake in a preheated oven at 200C until soft.
Continue with the minced meat sauce for the moussaka. Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the chopped onions and sauté until soft. Add and mix the garlic, tomato paste and minced meat, breaking it with a wooden spoon and sauté well. Stir in the red wine and wait for it to evaporate. Add the tomato sauce, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer with the lid on for about 30 minutes, until it sets and the juices evaporate. (Once the minced meat is cooked, remove the bay leaf, cloves and cinnamon).
Prepare the béchamel for the moussaka. Use a large saucepan to melt the butter over low-medium heat. Add the flour, stirring constantly to form a paste. Add the milk little by little and in a steady stream, while stirring with the whisk. If the béchamel is not thick enough, cook over low heat while continuing to stir. Remove the pan from the heat and add the yolks, salt, pepper, a pinch of nutmeg and grated cheese and mix well with the whisk.
For this recipe for moussaka with potatoes and eggplants you will need a large pan, about 25 * 35. Butter the bottom and sides of the pan and put a layer of mashed potatoes on the bottom, so that no gaps are left. Put a layer of eggplants on top and sprinkle with a little grated gruyere. Empty the minced meat on top and flatten it everywhere. Drizzle with the béchamel and sprinkle with grated cheese. If you prefer you can make the moussaka only with eggplants, without potatoes. In this case use 6 eggplants and put a layer of eggplants, a minced meat, a second layer of eggplants and béchamel.
Bake the moussaka in a preheated oven for about 60 minutes, until it forms a ruby crust. Before cutting the moussaka into pieces, let it cool for half an hour. Bon appetit!
Stay safe and healthy my friends and take care of your people
My best wishes from Greece