You're sitting in a charming Greek restaurant, the sound of traditional music playing in the background, a light summer breeze tickling your face as you tuck an authentic Greek moussaka. Unfortunately, we can't fly you to Greece, but this rich, delicious moussaka will take you there in a heartbeat.
Cook time: 90 mins
400 g Hey Planet Mince, or other meat/alternative
4 large potatoes
1 medium onion
4 garlic cloves
1 large eggplant
300 ml red wine (optional)
1 x 400g canned chopped tomatoes
1 x 140 g can tomato purée
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp crushed cumin
4 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
For the Mornay Sauce
50 g butter
4 tbsp wheat flour
500 ml milk
125 g fresh mozzarella
1 tsp ground nutmeg
Salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 200°C on the fan setting.
Start by boiling the potatoes until they are almost cooked through. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the potatoes, but should probably take 10-15 minutes. When the potatoes are done, set them aside.
While the potatoes are boiling, finely chop the onion and garlic.
Cut the eggplant into thin slices of about ½ cm (5mm). Sprinkle a thin layer of salt over each eggplant slice and set them aside. The salt will draw the liquid out of them.
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil, and sauté the onions and garlic until they are transparent.
Add the meat and sauté over high heat for approximately 4-5 minutes, until the meat turns golden and slightly crispy.
Add the paprika, smoked paprika, cinnamon, oregano, thyme, and cumin (all of the spices except for the bay leaves) and tomato paste and sauté them.
Add the red wine and let the alcohol evaporate for a few minutes.
Add the chopped tomatoes and bay leaves.
Stir the pan well, turn the heat to low, and let everything simmer for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, slice the eggplant and your boiled potatoes into thin slices of about ½ cm (5mm).
Sprinkle a thin layer of salt over the eggplant slices and let the liquid draw out of them. Wipe off excess liquid with a paper towel.
In a small/medium saucepan, melt the butter.
Once the butter is melted, add wheat flour and stir well.
Next, add the milk a little at a time, stirring thoroughly to prevent the sauce from clumping.
Add the nutmeg and season with salt.
Grate the mozzarella into small pieces and add it to the sauce.
Stir until the mozzarella is melted and the sauce has an even consistency.
Assembling the moussaka:
Assembling a moussaka is very similar to making a lasagna.
Start by removing the bay leaves from the tomato sauce.
In a large fireproof oven dish, place the eggplant slices so they cover the bottom in an even layer. Next, spread a layer of the tomato sauce so that it covers the aubergine. Then add a layer of sliced potatoes. Repeat these steps (aubergine, sauce, potatoes) until you have filled the dish. Finish with the tomato sauce on top.
Finally, pour all of the mornay sauce over the top of the Moussaka.
Bake the moussaka in the oven for approximately 35-40 minutes, until it is cooked through and the top is a golden brown colour.
Take the moussaka out of the oven and let it stand for a short while to allow it to settle.
And you’re done! Bon appetit! Or should we say, Καλή όρεξη! 🇬🇷