Moussaka

This little beauty of a dish has just been rustled up this evening in my kitchen: an old favourite M o u s s a k a! It went down well with the man (even if I did hide some aubergine in there specially for him!).


Has anyone tried this dish before?

A good moussaka is a joy to behold with cinnamon spiced lamb mingling with aubergines and a delicious creamy sauce. Each serving provides 678 kcal, 34g protein, 34g carbohydrates (of which 10g sugars), 41g fat (of which 16.5g saturates), 6g fibre and 1.2g salt.


Ingredients:

2 aubergines cut into 1cm/½in slices

1 tbsp fine salt

750g/1lb 10½oz lamb mince

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp dried oregnao

1½ tsp dried mint

1 bay leaf

1 cinnamon stick

1 tbsp plain flour

½ tsp flaked sea salt, plus extra for seasoning

200ml/7fl oz red wine

400g tin chopped tomatoes

2 tbsp tomato puree

100ml/3½fl oz olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 handful of almonds, chopped


For the white sauce

50g/2oz butter

50g/2oz plain flour

400ml/14fl oz milk

1 tsp finely grated nutmeg

25g/1oz parmesan, finely grated

1 free-range egg, beaten


Method:

  1. Put the lamb, onions, garlic, oregano, mint, bay and cinnamon in a large heavy-based frying pan and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the meat.

  2. Stir in the flour, salt and plenty of pepper. Add the wine, tomatoes, tomato purée and bring to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lamb is tender and the sauce has thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  3. Rinse the aubergine pieces under cold running water and pat dry in a clean tea towel. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy-based frying pan and fry the aubergines for 2–3 minutes on each side, adding more oil when necessary. Remove from the pan and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.

  4. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4.

  5. For the white sauce, melt the butter in a large saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook for a few seconds, then gradually stir in the milk. Add half the Parmesan and the grated nutmeg. Simmer the sauce gently for 4–5 minutes, stirring regularly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  6. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the sauce to cool. When cooled, stir in the beaten egg.

  7. Spoon the meat sauce into a deep ovenproof dish (approximately). Layer the aubergines on top of the mince. Pour over the white sauce, making sure it covers in a thick, even layer. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and chopped almonds. Bake for 45 minutes, or until deep golden-brown and bubbling.

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Location | Burford Road, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire