Moussaka is a traditional Greek eggplant casserole, which combines eggplant, lamb and bechamel sauce.
- Complexity: medium
- 1 cup finely chopped onions
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 lb. lean ground lamb
- 1 cup tomatoes
- Bay leaf
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 3 egg whites
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 3 egg yolks beaten
- Fresh nutmeg
- Grated parmesan cheese
- Generously salt the eggplant slices with sea salt in a colander and allow to drain. Set aside and let the eggplant slices drain for 25-45 minutes.
- Saute the chopped onion until golden in 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup olive oil. Add the ground lamb and brown slowly.
- Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, red wine, nutmeg and black pepper and simmer gently for about 45 minutes.
- .While the meat sauce is cooking, brush the eggplant slices with olive oil and saute on both sides until browned. Drain the slices on a paper towel, so they don't get too oily.
- Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold gently into the cooled meat sauce with the bread crumbs.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare the bechamel sauce. First melt the butter over low heat. Add the flour and stir over low heat for 3-5 minutes. Then stir the milk in slowly. Add the onions and bay leaf continue to cook and stir the sauce until it is thick and smooth. Put the sauce in the oven for 20 minutes to cook. Strain the sauce to remove the onion and bay leaf then top with some freshly grated nutmeg.
- Beat the egg yolks then pour some of the hot bechamel sauce and add some freshly grated nutmeg.
- Pour the egg yolks into the bechamel sauce and mix.
- With the oven preheated to 350 degrees, place a layer of eggplant into a greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Then place a layer of meat sauce. Continue layering and end with a layer of eggplant. Pour the bechamel sauce over the casserole. Top with grated parmesan.
- Bake the casserole, uncovered, until lightly browned and heated through. Remove from the oven and allow to set for 10-20 minutes. Slice and serve.