The famous Greek dish has arrived at “When a Greek Cooks”! People in the Netherlands are very familiar with this dish, they even call it “Greek Lasagna” even if it is quite different from that. The sure thing is that they are crazy about it 😀 I have cooked it for birthdays and Sunday family visits and people keep asking me for the recipe. Well, here it is! A traditional Greek recipe, right from my mother’s kitchen, slightly developed by me! If the White Giant Beans recipe requires patience and devotion, this one asks for much more! But this doesn’t mean it is super difficult. You just need to get used to the mess it creates – with all those pans everywhere – and the fact that it is quite time consuming. With practice you do become better! For further questions or advice, please leave a comment below! I am curious over your results 🙂
Equipment: oven dish, medium saucepan, 2 large baking pans, parchment paper, frying pan
Prep time: 20 min, Cooking Time: 2 hours, Total Time: approximately 2,5 hours. Serves up to 8-10 people
2 eggplants cut in slices
4-5 potatoes cut in slices
400gr minced meat (beef)
1 big onion, in cubes
2 medium tomatoes, in cubes
½ cup white wine
3 cloves minced garlic
1 cup tomato juice
salt, pepper, a little bit of cinnamon
olive oil, as much as it takes
feta cheese for serving, optional
for the béchamel
6 tbsp. butter
6 tbsp. flour
2, 5 cups of room temperature milk
Parmesan or Pecorino cheese for extra taste
black pepper & sea salt
Wash the eggplants and peel their skin, but in stripes, so that there is some skin left for extra taste. Cut them in slices of 1 cm and put them in a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with some olive oil, salt and pepper and cook them in a preheated over till soft. Approximately 30 min on 200° C. At around half the time turn the slices so that they are evenly cooked.
Peel the potatoes and cut them also in 1cm slices. Follow the same procedure with the eggplants. If you can put them to cook the same time in the oven, in different pans, you will save considerable time.
Heat some olive oil over medium heat in a medium frying pan. Sauté the onions and stir well till they become soft for about 4-5 min. Add the minced meat to the pan and try to open its chunks, so it will be evenly cooked. Pour in the white wine and stir well till the alcohol is vaporized. Add the tomatoes, the garlic, your spices (cinnamon, salt and pepper) and the tomato sauce. Let it boil for 10-15 min. Check if it needs more salt or pepper.
Take your oven dish and as soon as the vegetables are evenly cooked, start layering. First put the eggplants and then the potatoes on top. Add the cooked minced meat and let it rest.
Time for the béchamel! Take a medium sauce pan and melt the butter over low heat. Put in the flour and stir. Add the milk (on room temperature) and stir fast and steady till smooth and medium thick. If you let it boil by itself, the béchamel will stick to your pan and the flour will not be properly dissolved. If it is too thick, add some more milk. Add some nutmeg, some cheese of your own choice (optional) and some black pepper. Add some more salt if needed. Be careful though, not to add too much, since the rest of the layers also have a considerable amount of salt.
Take the béchamel out of the heat and let it cool down for a bit. Add one by one the eggs, stirring really good after every addition. When the béchamel is smooth pour it on top of the moussaka. Add some grated parmesan or pecorino (kefalotyri cheese is the best option here). Bake for 40 minutes, till the béchamel has turned to a light brown color.
Let it cool and cut in square pieces. Serve with feta cheese.