Growing up in an Italian home we never ate Moussaka. I’m not sure why. It seems to me it’s Greek style lasagna without the pasta…That’s probably the answer to my question, no pasta.
Moving on..when creating my recent ready-to-eat menu I had Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on TV in the background. One of the featured restaurants prepared Moussaka. Awesome! I added it to the menu, it is really delicious.
While Moussaka is known as a Greek dish you will find versions from Turkey, Egypt, the Middle East and the Balkan countries.
Some choose to layer their ingredients, others saute everything together and some omit the meat or use potato in place of eggplant. That is why I love this dish. You can #PlayWithYourFood and make it your own.
Do you have your own version of Moussaka? Please share your thoughts and special ingredients in the comments below.
- You may prepare in an 8×8 baking dish or individual size portions
- This dish freezes well
- You may omit the feta in bechamel without compromising the dish
- 1 pound ground beef
- ¼ cup Greek extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 pound ground beef
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, cored, and thinly sliced
- 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
- ¼ cup Pecorino Romano
- 1½ cups olive oil
- 1½ pounds eggplant, cut into thin slices
- Bechamel Sauce
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup flour
- 2½ cups milk
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 egg yolks
- ½ cup feta cheese
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a 6-quart saucepan over high heat. Add the ground beef cinnamon, ginger, and salt and pepper and cook, stirring to break up the meat, until browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add the onions, garlic and bell pepper and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the crushed and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, about 10-15 minutes.
- For the eggplant
- Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Season the eggplant slices on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Working in batches, add the eggplant slices and fry until tender and lightly golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer the eggplant slices to paper towels.
- For the bechamel
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until pale and smooth, 2 minutes. Still whisking constantly, add the milk, feta cheese, and bay leaf and cook until thickened.
- Season with salt,and pepper discard the bay leaf.
- Let the sauce cool for 5 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, whisk into the bechamel sauce until smooth.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Butter a 3-quart baking dish or casserole dish or 5 individual baking dishes
- To assemble: Layer half the eggplant slices in the dish and cover with half the meat sauce.
- Repeat layer sprinkle each layer with 2 tablespoons Pecorino Romano cheese
- Pour the bechamel over the top of the meat sauce and spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle Romano evenly over the top, place the dish on a baking sheet, and bake until browned and bubbly, 45 to 50 minutes.
- Let cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.