Lamb and Eggplant Moussaka
3 lbs. eggplant (2 large or 3 medium)
2 large russet potatoes
Salt as needed
⅓ cup olive oil, or as needed
2 cups diced onion
1 ¼ lbs. ground lamb (or substitute beef, turkey, pork, or combination)
2 cups chopped plum tomatoes
2 teaspoons minced garlic
Small piece cinnamon stick (or 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon)
1 bay leaf
Pinch ground allspice
Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
½ cup water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ cup dry red wine
¼ cup plain bread crumbs
2 cups Cheese Sauce
1. 1. Peel, salt, and rinse the eggplant if desired (see note "Preparing Eggplant for Cooking" below).
2. 2. Place potatoes in a pot and add enough water to cover them. Over medium-high heat bring them to a boil and boil lightly for 5 minutes. Cool, cut into 1/8-inch slices, and set aside.
3. 3. Heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the eggplant to the hot oil a few slices at a time and sautéthe eggplant slices, turning as necessary, until tender and lightly colored, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a rack to drain while you sauté the remaining eggplant, adding more oil to the skillet as necessary.
4. 4. To prepare a meat sauce: Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet. Add the onion and cook over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the ground meat and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the meat loses its raw appearance, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, garlic, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf, allspice, salt, pepper, and about 1/2 cup water. Simmer until thick and flavorful, about 30 minutes. Add the tomato paste and red wine and continue simmering until the wine has developed a sweet aroma, about 10 minutes.
5. 5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
6. 6. To assemble the moussaka: Scatter the bread crumbs in a deep, rectangular baking dish. Place a layer of half of the eggplant slices over the bread crumbs. Add the meat sauce and spread it into an even layer. Place an even layer of sliced potatoes over the sauce. Add the remaining eggplant in an even layer over the meat sauce. Pour the cheese sauce over the eggplant. Bake, uncovered, until the cheese sauce is thick and golden brown and the eggplant is very tender, about 45 minutes. Let the moussaka rest for about 20 minutes before cutting and serving.
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 ½ cups milk
Few grains of nutmeg
Salt as needed
Freshly ground black pepper as needed
2 egg yolks
½ cup grated kefalotyri or Parmesan cheese
1. 1. Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and stir well. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually whisk in the milk, working out any lumps that form. Bring to a full boil, then reduce the heat to low and gently simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 30 minutes.
2. 2. Remove the sauce from the heat and add nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste. Whisk the egg yolks in a small boil and add a bit of the hot sauce to the yolks. Blend well, and return the yolk mixture to the rest of the béchamel. Stir in the cheese and blend well. Keep warm while preparing the moussaka.
Excellent recipe that came from Epicurious.com. I forgot how long it takes to prepare moussaka, however! I was also pleased that not only was I able to use the eggpland--and finish it for the week--but onions, plum tomatoes, & potatoes from the CSA.