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Moussaka: how to cook a delicious greek dish

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Every traditional Greek moussaka must contain the 3 specific layers mentioned: eggplants, ground meat and bechamel. There are however many versions of moussaka, as each Greek family have adjusted the dish according to their likings.

Ingredients

1st layer (base)
220g (7.7oz / 1 middle sized) potato, cut into thin slices (about 1cm/0.4inch thick)
180g (6.3oz / 1 small) eggplant, cut into thin slices (about 1cm/0.4inch thick)
250ml (1 cup) olive oil

2nd layer (middle)
250g (9 oz) ground beef
300g (10.5oz / 1 big) tomato, grated
80g (3 oz/ 1 small)green bell pepper, finely chopped
140g (5oz / 1 middle sized) onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
125ml (1/2 cup) wine
1/3 teaspoon cinnamon powder
125ml (1/2 cup) olive oil
salt and pepper

Top layer – Greek bechamel sauce
4 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons margarine or butter
375ml (1 1/2 cups) milk in room temperature
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
40g (1.5oz) Dubliner cheese or Gruyere, grated
salt

Preparation

Step 1 - Moussaka: How to cook a delicious Greek dish

Step 1

Add the olive oil in a medium size pan, put it on high heat and fry the potatoes for about 3-4 minutes (turn once). Remove them from the pan and let them drain on paper towel. Then fry the eggplants for 2 minutes (turn once).

Remove from the pan and let them drain on paper towel as well. It's important not to fry the potatoes and the eggplants all the way through. They need to be soft, almost cooked but not completely done.
Step 2 - Moussaka: How to cook a delicious Greek dish

Step 2

Add the olive oil in a medium sized pan, on medium to high heat. Once hot add the onion and the pepper. Saute for 2 minutes and add the ground beef.

Using a fork cut the ground beef in small pieces, mixing it with the onion and the pepper until all moisture is evaporated (about 3 minutes).

Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic, the cinnamon, salt and pepper.
Cook, stirring often, for 4 minutes and then add the wine. Continue cooking for 2 minutes more and add the tomato.

Cook about 10 minutes, until all moisture evaporates.
Step 3 - Moussaka: How to cook a delicious Greek dish

Step 3

Put the fried potatoes in the bottom of a small baking pan, then add on top of them the fried eggplants.

On top of the eggplants spread the ground beef. Leave the baking pan aside for a while and start preparing the bechamel topping.
Step 4 - Moussaka: How to cook a delicious Greek dish

Step 4

Melt the butter in a small pot on medium to high heat. Slowly add the flour, while constantly whisking. The butter must be completely absorbed by the flour, forming a thick mixture.

Reduce the heat to medium and slowly pour the milk into the pot, constantly whisking. Add the nutmeg and the salt. Cook, until you get a not too thick., creamy result. Remove the pot from the heat and pour the bechamel sauce into the baking pan on top of the ground beef. Sprinkle with the cheese.
Step 5 - Moussaka: How to cook a delicious Greek dish

Step 5

Put the baking pan in the oven, in the middle rack at 180 Celsius (356 Fahrenheit) for 50 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and leave aside for at least 30 minutes to chill before serving. Kali oreksi!
Step 6 - Moussaka: How to cook a delicious Greek dish

Step 6

1. If you cook more than the proposed in this recipe quantity, you can freeze the moussaka in an airtight container and reheat it again in the future.

2. You can also add egg yolks in the bechamel sauce, but before you add them you must give it first a few minutes to cool down to avoid the eggs being cooked. Then proceed and add the bechamel to the baking pan as usual.

3. You can use Dubliner cheese if you can't find graviera cheese. You can also try some other hard yellow cheese of your liking instead. Parmesan however is not recommended for this dish.

4. You can omit the potatoes at the bottom layer if you prefer a more classic moussaka.

5. The ground meat with tomato sauce is basically a thick Bolognese style sauce. So, you can also experiment with your favorite ground meat tomato sauce for the middle layer. You have to make sure however, that it's thick and not watery.

6. You can also sprinkle with breadcrumbs on top before baking if you prefer a crispier result.

7. Moussaka is best served with feta cheese and/or Greek salad and a couple of slices of fresh bread.

8. It's better to serve moussaka in warm or in room temperature. Never too hot.

9. You can add more eggplant slices in the bottom layer if you like.

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Comments:

aparadh, 20/09/2013

Very well told

(0) (0) Abuse
littlecookingtips
Response littlecookingtips:

Thank you apardh!:)



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