Moussaka

Once upon a time, I went to Greece and fell in love with everything this country had to offer, specially the food.
This was when I realized I’ve actually never had real Moussaka before and anything I’ve had before was just a Moussaka wannabe. And so I examined it closely and carefully, I bought a Moussaka meat mix from Athens and tried to come up with the recipe and I, not to brag, mastered it. So I present to you, the real Moussaka.

moussaka
The amazing Moussaka I had in Mykonos, Greece

Ingredients

2 regular eggplants
2 potatoes
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 big yellow onion
4 Tbs tomato paste
2 Tbs moussaka mix ( black pepper, onion powder, nutmeg, coriander, parsley and spearmint)
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Ingredients for the Bechamel sauce 

3/4 stick unsalted butter
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
2 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

    1. Wash and slice the eggplants like the picture below. Add some salt to the slices and let them sit in a strainer. This will prevent the eggplants from absorbing a lot of oil.

  •  Cover two oven trays with foil and spay them with vegetable oil. Dry the eggplants with paper towels and place them on the trays. Slightly brush the eggplants with vegetable oil and cook in the oven for 20 minutes or until the eggplants become soft.

 

  • Cut the onion, fry them in a pan until golden, add the meat and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and the tomato paste, mix well and add the moussaka mix.

 

  • Make the Bechamel sauce: melt the butter in a sauce pan, mix well with flour. Put the sauce pan on low heat and slowly add the milk. Stir until the sauce becomes a bit thick. Add salt.
  • Prepare the pyrex dish: Brush the dish with vegetable oil and pour some Bechamel on the bottom of the dish. Set the first layer with the sliced potatoes, then a layer of eggplants then a layer of meat. Pour some Bechamel on the meat and set the second layer of eggplants followed by a layer of meat. Repeat this step until you either run out of ingredients or there is no more room in the dish.
  • Lastly, cover the last layer with the cheese, cover with foil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes or until the cheese is golden.