This is my first try at making moussaka and it was a hit with my family! Moussaka is a Greek version of lasagna but instead of pasta sheets, thin slices of fried eggplant (aubergine) is used and the top is covered with creamy, cheesy, white sauce ( Bechamel sauce). This is not an easy dish to make traditionally and that’s the reason why I can’t bring myself to make this at home BUT I found an easy alternative: grilling the eggplant slices! It’s healthier too, hurray!!
I used thin elongated eggplants in making my moussaka; I sliced ’em really thin for faster cooking. You may leave the skin on if you want, like what some people do ..I tried leaving the skin on one of the eggplant too just to see which is better. It’s less work not peeling the eggplants anymore but I think I like my eggplant without the skin, it’s so much easier to eat.
note: I used indoor stove-top grill to cook the eggplants; if it’s a bother to fire up your outdoor grill just for this dish and you don’t have indoor grill either, you may bake the eggplant instead.
“Mmmmm…so yummy in my tummy!” as my son would say :D
Arrange grilled eggplant slices in the baking dish
pour half of the meat sauce on top then repeat the layer
top with bechamel/white sauce and sprinkle some cheese on top
bake and serve!
- 4 long eggplant, peeled and cut thinly
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Meat Sauce:
- 350 g lean ground beef
- 1 large onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 small can ( or pouch) tomato paste
- 1 teasppon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon oregano powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1½ tablespoons flour
- 1 cup fresh milk
- pinch of nutmeg
- 2 ounces cheese, grated
- salt and pepper to taste
- quickmelt cheese for topping
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the ground beef and onion, and cook until the beef is browned.
- Drain off any excess oil, then stir in the oregano, parsley, tomato paste, sugar, salt, and pepper, add ½ -3/4 cup of water.
- Bring to a boil on high heat then lower heat to simmer for 1-2 hours or at least 30 minutes. I find that cooking this for about 2 hours gives it more flavor and umami, that's why I always do it ahead of time.
- Preheat and lightly oil indoor (or outdoor grill). Wash and peel eggplant, cut thinly and brush with olive oil (or lightly spray with cooking oil) then season with salt and pepper. Grill eggplant until just tender.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, and cook until the flour is slightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Whisk in milk, nutmeg, and salt.
- Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes more; add in grated cheese and cook until cheese is completely melted.
- Lay grilled eggplant slices on the bottom of the pan, spread half of the meat sauce over th e eggplant.
- Repeat layer and pour the white sauce over top, and smooth with a spatula.
- Sprinkle grated quickmelt cheese or mozzarella on top.
- Bake moussaka in preheated oven until bubbly and golden brown, about 30 minutes.
♥ Have a nice day!! GOD Bless! ♥