With its tasty layers of eggplant, meat sauce and bechamel sauce, a traditional Greek moussaka is a really hard meal to beat. It can take a little while to make, but this recipe makes it easy. You need just a few ingredients to make each component, but there's no compromise on taste!
Pre-heat the oven to 355F/180C. Lay the eggplant/aubergine slices on large baking trays and brush each side with a little olive oil. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the slices are soft.
Meanwhile, make your meat sauce. Heat a little olive oil in a large saucepan, then cook the onion for a few minutes. Add the garlic, cinnamon & oregano and cook for a minute longer.
Add the meat to the pan and brown while breaking up with a wooden spoon.
Add the tomato puree, water and wine. Simmer the sauce until it has thickened (about 30 minutes).
Stir in the parsley and salt and pepper to taste.
To make the béchamel, melt the butter in a medium saucepan, then stir in the flour until you have a paste.
Take off the heat, then stir in the milk little by little.
Put the pan back on the heat and stir until the sauce has thickened and is just bubbling. Add most of the cheese and the nutmeg.
Let cool for about five minutes, then whisk in the eggs.
Assembling & baking
Divide the eggplant/aubergine slices into 3. Take the first pile and line the bottom of a 12 x 9 inch baking dish with them. Top with half of the meat sauce.
Add another layer of eggplant/aubergine slices, and then the rest of the meat sauce.
Add a final layer of eggplant/aubergine, then pour over the bechamel sauce. Smooth it with a spatula, then sprinkle over the rest of the cheese.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes (at 355F/180C) or until the top is golden and bubbling (cover it with aluminium foil if it gets too dark). Leave to rest for 20 to 30 minutes before serving (so that the pieces stay together when you cut and serve them).
Thank you!I adapted this easy moussaka recipe from this recipe in Guardian Life and Style.The baking dishYou can use a baking dish that's a bit smaller than 12 by 9 inches if that's what you have, but don't use a larger dish than this. You'll find the layers are a bit too thin if you do.The eggplant/aubergine slicesI sometimes find it easier to roast my eggplant slices the day before. I've even made them a week or more ahead and frozen them. I personally never salt my eggplant before roasting. I've never found my roasted eggplant to taste bitter!Serving your moussakaI highly advise leaving your moussaka to 'rest' for 20 to 30 minutes after it's come out of the oven. This gives it time to 'firm up' slightly and the individual pieces will be easier to serve. Serve with a Greek salad and toasted fresh bread! (this way you can feed 8 with this recipe!). I also like to serve Greek yoghurt or tzatziki on the side. Making this moussaka ahead, or freezing itYou can make this moussaka ahead if you like. Simply assemble fully and cover in the fridge until ready to bake. Add 5 to 10 minutes to the cooking time. If you prefer you can freeze the whole moussaka unbaked. Just tightly wrap it in plastic wrap and/or aluminium foil. Simply let defrost and cook as normal, or cook from frozen and add 20 to 25 minutes to the cooking time. You can also freeze the cooked leftovers, then defrost and reheat. Mmm!