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Greg's moussaka
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This is a dish that I made on 1 July 2014. I didn't make it exactly as specified here; see the discussion below for more details.

Ingredients

quantity       ingredient       step
2 kg       aubergines       1
      olive oil for grilling aubergines       1
700 g       cooked leg of lamb       2
      olive oil for frying       3
200 g       onion       3
15 g       garlic       3
400 g       can tomates       4
40 g       tomato paste       4
150 ml       red wine       4
      gravy from roast       4
      fat from roast       4
2 g       sugar       4
0.5 g       ground cinnamon       4
5 g       parsley       4
10 g (?)       salt       4
      pepper       4
125 g       butter       6
100 g       flour       6
1 litre       milk       6
40 g       grated parmesan cheese       6
2       eggs       6
Alternately
800 g       potato       7

Preparation

  1. Slice the aubergines about 7 mm thick. Salt for 20 minutes, then rinse, dry, brush with olive oil and grill until browned.

  2. Meanwhile, mince the meat.

  3. Cut the onions finely and fry in oil until translucent. Crush garlic and fry a little longer.

  4. Blend tomatoes in juice. Add tomatoes, paste, wine, gravy, fat, sugar, cinnamon, parsley, salt and pepper, mix well and boil for a couple of minutes. If there's not enough liquid, add more wine.

  5. Place a layer of ⅓ of the aubergines in a baking dish. Cover with half the meat mixture. Layer another ⅓ of the aubergines, the rest of the meat, and the rest of the aubergines.

  6. For a classical moussaka, make the cheese sauce, sometimes referred to as béchamel. The quantities here are from the base recipe, and they seem dubious—see the discussion. Melt the butter, mix in the flour until there are no lumps, then add milk and bring to the boil. Allow to cool and mix in eggs and cheese. Spread over the top of the dish.

  7. Alternatively, cut the potatoes into slices about 5 mm thick. Layer over the dish.

  8. Bake in an oven at 180° until brown, about 30 minutes.

Discussion

This recipe bases on one in a cookbook published by the Australian Woman's Weekly). The web site has 10 different moussaka recipes, none of which match the recipe in the cookbook, though this one comes close.

As usual, the quantities are suspect. The original doesn't have have nearly enough aubergines. The cheese sauce (“béchamel”) uses twice the proportion of flour that I have in my béchamel recipe, and then adds eggs. It sounds like it would be completely solid. In addition, most of these recipes ask for a 425 g can of tomatoes—in a country where tinned tomatoes come in tins of 400 g or 800 g. Were they once different in pre-“metric” times?

The original recipe was intended to be made with fresh lamb mince. We used it to finish off a roast leg, which is drier than the original. So I added the fat from the roasting pan, and also the remaining gravy.

We chose not to make the cheese sauce, because we don't particularly like it. The idea of putting potatoes on top is our own, though I've seen “moussaka” recipes that use potatoes.


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