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Cooking + Entertaining

Moussaka: the original recipe of the famous Greek dish

Moussaka: the original recipe of the famous Greek dish

ingredients

Lamb minced meat

Extra virgin olive oil

The Moussakaor mousakà, is a typical dish of Greek cuisine, very substantial, appetizing and rich in ingredients, including lamb, cheese and eggplant. The recipe involves a layered preparation, similar to that of a lasagna or parmigiana: the base is made up of a layer of French friesto which are added fried aubergines and a mixed meat sauce, generally lamb and pork, a sprinkle of Greek cheese, kefalotiri (replaceable with a mixture of Parmesan and pecorino) and finally, to cover everything, a lot of bechamel. The moussaka must be baked in the oven and can be served both as a main course and as a single dish: a concentrate of true goodness to be made on the occasion of a Sunday lunch, without paying too much attention to calories.

Find out how to prepare it by following the step by step procedure and advice. If you liked this recipe, also try other typical dishes of the Hellenic tradition.

How to make moussaka

Start by preparing the meat sauce: in a pan pour a drizzle of oil and the chopped onion, fry until golden 1.

Add the ground beef. Cook for a few minutes, season with salt and pepper 2.

Blend with white wine 3 and let it evaporate.

Add the tomato puree 4.

Cook for a few moments, stirring 5.

Add the ground cinnamon 6. Cook another 10-15 minutes until the sauce has shrunk.

Wash and cut the aubergines into thin slices 7.

Arrange them in layers for an hour, alternating them with coarse salt 8and place a weight to make them lose the bitter liquid.

Peel the potatoes and cut them into thin slices 9.

Fry the aubergines in hot oil and drain on absorbent kitchen paper 10. Season them with salt and set aside.

Do the same with the potato slices 11.

Arrange the potatoes on the bottom of the pan 12.

Add a layer of eggplant 13.

Proceed with half of the ground beef 14.

Add the grated pecorino and parmesan 15.

Continue with the second layer of eggplant, the other half of the meat and the remaining cheese. Complete with a generous layer of béchamel sauce 16.

Bake at 180 ° C for 40 minutes. Once the moussaka is out of the oven 17let it cool for a few minutes.

Cut into slices and serve 18.

Advice

If you don’t like lamb meat, you can choose that of manzo or veal. If you prefer, you can add zucchini instead of eggplant.

To make a perfect béchamelwe recommend that you use whole milk.

If you have time available, room the eggplant once cut and leave them in a colander covered with a plate. Wait a couple of hours until they release a dark liquid, then rinse and dry them with a cloth. This procedure will make the aubergines lose their bitter aftertaste.

Variants

Moussaka light

For a light moussaka, grill the aubergines instead of frying them, use 400 grams of ground turkey and make a light béchamel using the vegetable broth. In a saucepan pour 20 ml of extra virgin olive oil and add 25 g of flour, mix with a whisk, pour in the hot vegetable broth and cook until thickened. Prepare a first layer of grilled aubergines, add the minced meat cooked with the tomato sauce, as indicated in the recipe, another layer of grilled aubergines and finally the minced meat. Complete with a handful of grated pecorino and the vegetable béchamel, then bake in the oven at 180 ° C for 45 minutes.

Potato moussaka

To make the potato moussaka you have to make all the layers with the fried potatoes, so all you have to do is replace the eggplant with potatoes, using 500 grams of potatoes. You can make it either with a red ragù, with tomato sauce, or with a white ragù without tomato, adding a few tablespoons of bechamel between the layers of potatoes and minced meat.

Turkish moussaka

Turkish moussaka is a variant without the addition of potatoes and bechamel. In this version you will have to use the minced beef cooked with tomato and fry the aubergines as indicated in the recipe. Proceed by first creating a layer of eggplant and then minced meat, until all the ingredients are used up. Sprinkle the surface with grated pecorino and bake at 180 ° C for 30 minutes.

storage

The moussaka does preserve per one day in the refrigerator in a closed glass container. You can freeze it if you have used fresh ingredients.

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