When someone mentions Moussaka it makes me giggle.
When I was heavily pregnant with Eloise my first baby, I had pre-eclampsia. I was going into the hospital every 2nd day for monitoring, blood and urine tests. It was draining and ironically, stressful. After six weeks of this, and getting close to my due date I remember arriving for the appointment hoping against hope they would give me a day/date I would meet my baby. But they didn't. And this to a heavily pregnant and uber-emotional woman was just too much to bear. Hubby was sympathetic and we tried all the conventional ways such as curry and *ahem* other ways to bring our babe out. Nothing seemed to work.
Then we were watching the news that night and there was a piece about a restaurant in the US I think that was booking out to pregnant women who ate the moussaka. It was apparently bringing on their labour. Hubby got excited.
The next day he camped out at the desk of the office PA who was greek to snaffle an authentic moussaka recipe. She called her Mum, got the recipe and hubby picked up the ingredients on his way home, and got to work.
Well the meal didn't induce my labour but I do remember joking that the amount of dishes used to make the dish was enough to make me go into labour! It does use a lot of dishes, but wash as you go and you won't mind... the result is worth it!
I made a double batch to take over to my bestie's house (and oven) on the weekend, it served 10 - so divide the quantities appropriately or freeze some!
2 large eggplants, sliced
1 kg lamb mince (you could use beef mince if you like, though not genuine, still tastes good)
2 large onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp fresh or dried oregano
1 cup red wine
800g diced tomatoes (fresh or tinned)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup plain flour
3/4 cup grated fresh parmesan
In a frypan, add about 2 tb of olive oil, and fry your eggplant in batches on each side, set aside.
Using the same saucepan, add onion and garlic and fry over medium heat until transparent and soft.
Add your mince, brown well then add your red wine and tomatoes, simmer for about 15 minutes whist you prepare your sauce
In a saucepan, heat milk, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and onion until it simmers for about 5minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit for about 10-15 minutes.
After allowing to infuse, strain the milk into s jug. Discard onion/cloves and wash your saucepan.
Melt your butter in the bottom of the saucepan and gradually add the flour a tablespoon at time and milk alternately, whisk into a thick sauce. When all the milk is added and it resembles the consistency or a thick sauce, add 1/2 cup of your parmesan cheese and stir through well.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees c.
Assemble the Moussaka by greasing your baking pan/casserole dish with some canola oil then spreading out half your your mince mixture, then add half the eggplant on top as a layer, then the remainder of your meat, and then top with the remainder of the eggplant.
Top with the cheese sauce and top with remaining 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Bake in oven for 30-40 minutes. Remove and allow to sit for 15 minutes, cut and serve with salad/greens.
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