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Classic Greek Moussaka

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Level: Intermediate

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Description

Moussaka is the ultimate classic Greek dish! Eggplant, potatoes, and spicy meat topped with béchamel sauce, this is comfort food at its finest!

Ingredients

  • FOR THE MEAT SAUCE:
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 pounds Ground Beef
  • 1 whole Onion
  • 1 head Garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Oregano
  • 1 can (6 Oz. Size) Tomato Paste
  • ½ cups Dry Red Wine
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • FOR THE VEGETABLES:
  • 3 whole Eggplants
  • Olive Oil, As Needed
  • 3 whole Potatoes
  • FOR THE BÉCHAMEL SAUCE:
  • ½ cups Butter
  • ½ cups Flour
  • 4 cups Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Nutmeg
  • 4 whole Egg Yolks
  • FOR ASSEMBLY:
  • 1 cup Grated Cheese
  • ½ cups Fresh Basil

Preparation

For the meat sauce:
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add ground beef and brown for about 10 to 12 minutes.

Chop onions and garlic. Add to meat. Continue browning for another 10 minutes.

Add the spices and tomato paste. Mix well. Cook and stir for 5 to 6 minutes. Add wine and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Turn off heat. Mix in lemon juice. Set sauce aside.

Peel eggplant. Slice off top and bottom. Slice into 1/4-inch rounds. Line a broiler pan with foil. Brush with olive oil. Broil eggplant slices 3 to 4 minutes. Turn and broil 2 to 3 minutes longer until browned. Remove from pan and set aside. You will be doing this in 3 to 4 batches.

Wash potatoes. No need to peel if using yellow or red potatoes. Cut into 1/4-inch slices. Boil in salted water for 5 to 8 minutes; you don’t want them soft, just partially done. Drain and set aside.

For the béchamel sauce:
Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When melted, whisk in flour. Blend well. Slowly pour in milk, whisking constantly. Add salt and nutmeg. 

Place egg yolks in a small bowl. Stir with fork. Drizzle in 1 to 2 tablespoons of the white sauce. Stir into egg yolks. Pour yolk mixture into béchamel sauce. Whisk constantly until thickened and bubbly. Set aside.

Heat oven to 350ºF. Layer a 9 x 13 casserole with sliced potatoes, overlapping slightly. Top with half of the eggplant slices.

Cover with meat sauce. Top meat sauce with remaining eggplant slices. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup grated cheese.

Spoon white sauce evenly over everything. Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and fresh basil, torn.

Bake at 350ºF for 30–45 minutes or until nicely browned. Let cool 10 to 15 minutes.

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