Eggplant Moussaka

A couple of months ago, we ate at a Greek restaurant and I ordered the moussaka because the table next to us had gotten it and it looked amazing…and it was! We haven’t been back to that restaurant again (yet!), but ended up finding some recipes online that looked like that they might substitute well for a homemade version.

This particular dish does not have any potato in it, so it’s not a very heavy dish. Leftovers work well for lunch the next day too! Even when you’re at work and need a non-food-coma dish. It’s adapted from New York Times Cooking.


Filling

The first thing I prepped was the eggplant, which I did by cutting off each end and then slicing the remainder into about 1/4″-1/2″ inch slices – this ended up being 13 slices. Because eggplant can be bitter, I sprinkled each slice with salt and let them sit while I prepped everything else to let the bitter juices start to seep out.

I then chopped the onions and minced the garlic and cooked them in a pan until they were soft. I added the ground lamb, broke it up into smaller pieces, and cooked it while stirring occasionally until it was no longer red. To this mixture, I added the salt, pepper, and cinnamon. The cinnamon makes it smell really good!

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Onions, garlic, and ground lamb cooking

Once the lamb was cooked through, I added the red wine and most of the crushed tomatoes and let it come to a boil. I reduced the heat, covered the pan, and let it simmer while I prepped the sauce.


Sauce

Meanwhile, I melted butter in a small saucepan, added the flour, and stirred in the milk. I broke up the clumps of flour and made sure everything was mixed in well. I added a bit  of salt and pepper into the mixture.. I took the tomato paste and mixed it into the remaining crushed tomatoes, and then added that to the sauce, trying to break up any remaining clumps.

I turned up the heat a little to bring the sauce to a simmer and let it sit for about 5 minutes. I mixed in the egg yolk and took it off the heat and set it aside.


Eggplant

Time for the eggplant now! I dried off the moisture from the eggplant slices and starting heating a bit of olive oil in a pan. I put as many slices as I could on the bottom of the pan in a single layer and cooked them until they started to turn soft and brown and flipped them and did the same for the other side. It took me 3 rounds to cook up all of the slices.

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Cooking up the eggplant slices on the stove

 


Eggplant Moussaka

The dish gets arranged in layers. I tried my medium sized casserole dish first, but it was a bit too big, so I switched to a smaller one. I searched the whole dish, but wasn’t able to find how big the dish was.

However, I chose this one because I was able to arrange about a third of the eggplant slices on the bottom and it covered most of the bottom of the dish. I then layered a third of the meat sauce, and continued layering two more times until the final meat layer was on top.

I covered the top of the dish with the sauce and topped it all off with crumbled feta cheese. I then popped it in the oven at 500°F for 15 minutes. The left picture below is before putting it in the oven and the right picture below is after taking it out of the oven.


Voilà!

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Recipe

Eggplant Moussaka

Adapted from: New York Times Cooking Eggplant Moussaka

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 large (~1 lb.) eggplant
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb. ground lamb
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup beef broth
  • 1 heaping tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 2/3 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/3 tbsp flour
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Olive oil
  • 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 500°F
  2. Slice eggplant into ~12 slices and sprinkle each slice generously with salt. Set aside
  3. Heat olive oil in pan and saute garlic and onions until soft
  4. Add ground lamb, salt, pepper, and ground cinnamon and cook until no longer meat is no longer pink
  5. Mix tomato paste in 3/4 cup of the crushed tomatoes and add to meat mixture with wine and beef broth
  6. Bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes
  7. Meanwhile melt butter in a separate pan, add flour, and stir in milk. Stir to break up clumps and add remaining crushed tomatoes
  8. Simmer for 5 minutes, stir in egg yolk, and remove from heat
  9. Heat oil in pan, add eggplant slices to cover bottom, and cook slices for about a minute and a half on each side, until soft. Remove and place on paper towel and continue cooking remaining eggplant slices
  10. Add about 4 eggplant slices to bottom of baking dish and layer a third of the meat sauce on top. Repeat layers and top with sauce.
  11. Sprinkle crumbled feta cheese on top
  12. Bake at 500°F for 15 minutes
  13. Nom nom nom!

Estimated nutritional information (per serving): 597 calories; 44g fat; 149.6mg cholesterol; 657.7mg sodim; 687.4mg potassium; 20.3g carbs; 28.7g protein

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