Beef

Moussaka

Moussaka is a traditional Greek comfort food

I’ve seen many variations out there but mostly all contain eggplant and potatoes

True story, the first time I ever made Moussaka, I was digging through my fridge trying to figure out what to make for dinner.  We’ve all been there

I had some potatoes, onions and eggplant from the farm market… hmmm

Sounds like Moussaka to me!  But the only meat I had in the freezer was hot Italian sausage.  Cooking is all about improvisation, right?

It was great with the sausage but I still like the ground beef flavor in this dish, so I’ve re-made it with a combination of both sausage and beef

Not exactly the traditional ground lamb version but I’m asking my Greek friends for forgiveness up front

Let’s start with the eggplant.  Peel and slice the eggplant into 1/2″ slices.  I prefer to remove the skins, but you can certainly leave them if you’d like

DSC04628DSC04632

Lay the slices flat on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of kosher salt and black pepper

DSC04644

Place in an oven that has been preheated to 350 degrees F.  Roast for 10 minutes

While the eggplant is doing its thing in the oven, let’s start on the meat mixture

As mentioned, I’m using a mix of hot sausage and ground beef, but you can use either all beef or ground lamb

Remove the sausage from the casing and crumble into a large pan over medium high heat.  This will take about 10-12 minutes.  Continually stir and break apart the larger pieces of meat so it’s all somewhat uniform

DSC04638DSC04640

I believe the 10 minute oven timer is going off… let’s check on the eggplant.  Flip each one, drizzle with a little more olive oil and sprinkles of kosher salt and black pepper.  Put back into the oven for another 5 minutes

Drain some of the fat from the meat mixture and add in diced onion and minced garlic

Saute for about 7 minutes or until the onion is softened

Remove the eggplant from the oven and cut into large cubes.  Add to the pan with the meat mixture

DSC04653DSC04655

Mix to combine then add in a can of diced tomatoes with the juice

Let this simmer for a bit while we cut up some potatoes

DSC04661DSC04662

Thinly slice russet potatoes and place in a single layer in a casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking oil

DSC04664DSC04667

Spoon the meat mixture evenly over the potatoes

DSC04668DSC04671

Last step is to make the creamy bechamel sauce.  I can eat this by the spoonful.  Not good for the waistline, but oh, man, there’s nothing like a creamy bechamel!

You’ll need 2 tablespoons of butter, 3 tablespoons of flour, 2 cups of milk, a healthy pinch of kosher salt and some freshly grated nutmeg

DSC04672

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat and whisk in the flour

Continually whisk for a minute or two to cook off the “flour” taste

Add in the milk and stir well

It may seem like the sauce is not thickening, but have patience.  Whisk, whisk, whisk

Ah… there it is.  The thick bubbly sauce that we’re looking for

DSC04681DSC04683

Sprinkle in a large pinch of kosher salt and a grate of fresh nutmeg

Let’s take a quick minute to chat about nutmeg.  It’s such a warm spice and should not only be reserved for sweet recipes.  It adds so much depth and flavor to this cream sauce

Interesting spice fact: nutmeg is the seed from a tropical fruit tree in Indonesia.  The nutmeg is covered in a red aril that when removed, is processed into the spice called mace.  2 spices from one fruit!  Pretty cool.  Ok, let’s move on…

DSC04685DSC04688

Pour the bechamel sauce over the casserole and and then cover with shredded mozzarella

DSC04691

DSC04693

Place into the 350 degree F oven, uncovered, for 45 minutes

Take this bad boy out when all bubbly and browned, like a boss

DSC04701

Let the casserole set for about 10 minutes before cutting and serve up this warming, cheesy, meaty dish that would certainly receive a nod from our Mediterranean friends!

DSC04735

Enjoy!

Simply Sunday's! ~ Mousakka

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Print

Ingredients

1 large eggplant, at least one pound

Olive oil

Kosher salt

Black pepper

1 pound of hot sausage

1 pound of ground beef (or lamb)

1 Medium onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes with the juice

2-3 potatoes

For the bechamel

2 tablespoons of butter

3 tablespoons of flour

2 cups of milk

a healthy pinch of kosher salt

freshly grated nutmeg

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Peel and slice the eggplant into 1/2″ slices

Lay the slices flat on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of kosher salt and black pepper

Place in an oven and roast for 10 minutes; Remove from oven, flip and drizzle with a little more olive oil and sprinkles of kosher salt and black pepper

Put eggplant back into the oven for another 5 minutes; remove from the oven and cut into large cubes, set aside

Remove the sausage from the casing and crumble into a large pan over medium high heat.  This will take about 10-12 minutes.  Continually stir and break apart the larger pieces of meat so it’s all somewhat uniform

Drain some of the fat from the meat mixture and add in diced onion and minced garlic

Saute for about 7 minutes or until the onion is softened; Add the eggplant to the pan with the meat mixture

Mix to combine then add in a can of diced tomatoes with the juice; let simmer

Thinly slice russet potatoes and place in a single layer in a casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking oil

Spoon the meat mixture evenly over the potatoes

Measure out 2 tablespoons of butter, 3 tablespoons of flour, 2 cups of milk, a healthy pinch of kosher salt and some freshly grated nutmeg

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat and whisk in the flour; continually whisk for a minute or two to cook off the “flour” taste

Add in the milk, whisking until thickened; sprinkle in a large pinch of kosher salt and a grate of fresh nutmeg

Pour the bechamel sauce over the casserole and then cover with shredded mozzarella

Place into the 350 degree oven, uncovered, for 45 minutes

Let the casserole set for about 10 minutes before cutting and serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley

Tools used to make this recipe

Wilton Recipe Right 3 Piece Cookie Pan Set

Architec Gripperwood Cutting Board

ZYLISS Quik Blend Whisk

Lodge Cast Iron Pan

Good Cook Classic Zester

ZELITE INFINITY Chef Knife 10 Inch

Farberware Cutting Board

Italian Olive Wood Spatula

© Simply Sundays 2017
All rights reserved

0 comments on “Moussaka

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: