The Best Greek Moussaka Recipe Ever!
My Favorite Greek Moussaka Recipe - An Easy Aubergine Moussaka Recipe
Do you want to make a fantastic Moussaka? On this page I will show you how to make a yummy and tasty Greek Moussaka, and, for the vegetarians among us I haven't left you out, you can try my vegetarian moussaka recipe which replaces the mince with lentils, I have often made a veggie moussaka this way and it goes down really well, in fact second helpings were requested..
Moussaka, undoubtedly one of the most well known classic Greek recipes, is traditionally made by layering meat and sliced aubergines (eggplant) and topped with a bechamel sauce.
My Greek moussaka is aubergine based, and one which I make with a yogurt based topping for a slightly lighter Moussaka. But there are lots of different Moussaka Recipes, with each cook putting their own twist on it.
It wasn't until my 30's that I was introduced to moussaka. My parents weren't exactly what you would call adventurous cooks, or indeed eaters, so dishes like moussaka and lasagna were never on the menu in my childhood years. However, these days, a Moussaka, made with lamb and aubergines, and baked in the oven until golden and bubbling is probably one of my favourite meals.
I often make my recipe for moussaka with potatoes, layering the potatoes up with the aubergine and mince. If you haven't tried a potato moussaka recipe before give it a go, it gives the recipe a whole new dimension.
Ingredients For My Greek Aubergine Moussaka Recipe - These are the ingredients needed to make this easy lamb Moussaka recipe with aubergines
About 500g of lean minced (ground) lamb
2 Aubergines (Eggplants) medium to large in size
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 heaped tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 rounded tablespoons tomato purÃ©e
3 fl oz (75 ml) red wine
salt and freshly ground black pepper
The yogurt topping for the Greek Moussaka
150ml greek yogurt
1 medium egg, beaten
50g feta cheese
25g freshly grated parmesan
My recipe is for lamb moussaka
but beef or vegetarian moussaka taste great too!
In Greek Cuisine Moussaka Is Traditionally Made with Lamb - But how do you like your moussaka?
Which sort of moussaka do you prefer?
First, Prepare The Aubergines For The Greek Moussaka Recipe - First you need to do a little preparation to get rid of the high water content and concentrate the
Prepare the aubergines for the Greek Moussaka recipe
Leave the skins on and slice the aubergines into approximately 10mm thick slices.
Put the slices into a colander and sprinkle them with about 1 level dessertspoon of salt. Stand the colander on a plate to catch the water which comes out of the aubergine and put another plate on top of the aubergine slices.
You now need to weigh this plate down with something heavy (I find that a couple of tins of soup works quite well) and leave them for about an hour to let the juice come out.
After an hour, squeeze out any of the excess juice from the aubergines and dry them well in a clean cloth.
Spread the aubergine slices on a baking sheet and drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over them tossing them around to get a good coating.
Put the baking sheet in a pre heated oven (around 200 degrees) and roast the aubergines for 30 minutes or until they are browning at the edges.
I usually roast the eggplant simply because the baking tray is much bigger than the frying pan and I can get the slices done all in one go, but, if you would rather sautee the eggplant to use in the moussaka you can do that too.
Now the aubergines are ready to use in the Greek Moussaka recipe.
Preparing The Lamb For Use In The Greek Moussaka Recipe - Brown and remove the fat from the lamb before layering in the Moussaka
Preparing the lamb for the Moussaka recipe
Because the mince can have quite a lot of fat come out of it I usually dry fry the mince until it is nicely browned then remove it from the pan and put it to one side then discard any of the fat which has come out of it before using it to make the moussaka.
Then heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the onions, garlic and thyme gently, without colouring, for about 10 minutes.
Stir the minced lamb back in and add the parsley, cinnamon, tomato purÃ©e and red wine and stir to combine the ingredients. Season the mixture well and cook gently for around 20 minutes, stirring occaisionally.
Now the lamb is ready to use in the Greek Moussaka recipe
In Greek Cuisine A Traditional Moussaka
is made from leftovers from a roast lamb or mutton joint. Using leftovers like this would make the moussaka a more economical dish to make.
Making The Yogurt Topping For The Greek Moussaka Recipe
Usinh yogurt means that you end up with a lighter topping for the Greek Moussaka
Prepare the topping for the Greek Moussaka recipe
It's true that Moussaka isn't the most healthy dish on the planet, that's why I prefer a yogurt topping for my moussaka recipe because it is a bit lighter than others I have tried but that is purely my preference. I will give you some alternative toppings for moussaka and you can choose which one you think that you would prefer.
Mix the yogurt with half of the cheeses and the beaten egg and season with ground pepper.
The yogurt topping is now ready to use in the Greek Moussaka recipe
Alternative Toppings For Greek Moussaka Recipes
If you don't want to use a yogurt sauce topping for your moussaka try this
White Sauce Topping For Greek Moussaka
30g finely grated Parmesan
568ml carton milk
1 bay leaf
3 black peppercorns
75g plain flour
2 egg yolks
To make the white sauce for the moussaka put the milk along with the bay leaf and peppercorns into a saucepan. Over a low to medium heat bring the milk up to boiling point then remove it from the heat.
Cover the pan and leave to infuse for 20 minutes.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat and stir in the flour, to make a roux, cook this for about 3 minutes.
Strain the milk and, using a wooden spoon, slowly stir it into the roux, only adding more milk after it has been smoothly absorbed into the roux.
You should end up with a thick sauce. Simmer this over a very low heat for 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Then remove from the heat, beat in the egg yolks and add salt to taste.
Cheats Quick Moussaka
If you want a quick moussaka try using a ready made white sauce together with the leftovers from a lamb joint to speed up the preparation time.
Putting The Greek Moussaka Recipe Together - Now we are ready to arrange everything in layers to make the Greek Moussaka
Putting everything together to make a yummy Greek Moussaka!
Line the bottom of a casserole dish with slices of aubergine, then spoon over some of the meat mixture. Build the layers of the moussaka up until all the meat and aubergine has been used.
Cover with the topping mixture and sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180ÂºC / 350ÂºF / Gas 4 for about 1 hour until golden and bubbling.
Let the Moussaka stand for about 20 to 30 minutes before cutting and serving and this will ensure that it keeps its shape when you serve it.
There is only one thing left to do now and that is to...
Enjoy the Moussaka!
Serve the moussaka with a nice green salad and some fresh crusty bread.
Le Crueset Casserole Dishes Are Perfect For Layering Up And Cooking The Greek Moussaka Recipe. - A Le Crueset Bakeware Dish is perfect for cooking your Moussaka
I have one of the square Le Crueset baking dishes which I use to layer up and cook the Greek Moussaka then take the cooked moussaka straight to the table.
I absolutely love the quality of the Le Crueset bakeware, they are very durable, I haven't even managed to chip mine after more than 5 years of use! I have never had a problem with food sticking to the surface, food cooks nice and evenly in it, and it is easy to clean and come in a range of great colors to match any kitchen.
Moussaka With Potatoes - One Of My Favorite Ways To Make Moussaka
Try this awesome tasting potato Moussaka
Ingredients needed to make Moussaka with potatoes
500 g aubergines, thickly sliced
2 large potatoes, peeled and sliced
100 ml olive oil
500 g courgettes (zucchini), trimmed and sliced lengthways in thick slices
2 large onions, chopped
450 g minced lamb
400g can of chopped tomatoes
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
For the white sauce
600 ml milk
50 g butter
4 tbsp cornflour
60 g freshly grated cheese, I like to use a strong cheddar but haloumi is good too
A good pinch of ground cinnamon
How to make the potato moussaka
Preheat the oven to 160C/gas 3.
Prepare the sliced aubergines for the moussaka as shown above, or alternatively, sprinkle the slices with salt and put them on kitchen paper for a couple of hours to let the liquid rum out. Rinse the aubergine slices and thoroughly dry with more kitchen paper.
Heat a little of the olive oil in a pan and fry the potato slices until they turn golden brown, then turn them onto kitchen paper to drain. Repeat this process the courgettes and finally, the aubergines.
Heat the rest of the olive oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over moderate heat and add the onions, cooking until softened and beginning to turn golden.
Add the minced lamb to the saucepan, stir, and fry for a few minutes until the lamb changes color.
Now stir in the tomatoes, cinnamon and parsley and season the mixture with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Turn down the heat and simmer until the mixture is thick and the liquid is absorbed.
To make the white sauce for the moussaka:
Put 3/4 of the milk into a small saucepan together with the butter and heat through.
Mix the rest of the milk with the cornflour, whisk in the eggs then add the grated cheese and cinnamon.
Mix a little of the warm milk, gradually, into the egg mixture, then slowly stir this mixture into the saucepan of milk and heat over a low heat, stirring continuously, until it thickens.
Assemble the moussaka by layering the potatoes, aubergines, cougettes and mince, then cover with the white sauce and bake for 1-1Â½ hours until the top turns nice and brown.
Vegetarian Moussaka Recipe
This veggie moussaka is sure to please both vegetarians and meat eaters alike, the moussaka is well worth trying.
You may not think that it is possible to make a good moussaka without meat but even non-vegetarians will have to agree that this vegetarian moussaka tastes great.
Ingredients for the vegetarian moussaka
2 aubergines, each 8 oz (225 g)
10 fl oz (275 ml) vegetable stock
2 oz (50 g) Puy lentils
2 oz (50 g) Green lentils
4 tablespoons olive oil
Large red pepper, deseeded and diced
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes, drained
7 fl oz (200 ml) red wine
2 level tbs tomato purÃ©e
1 level tsp cinnamon
2 level tbs parsley, chopped
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Ingredients for the moussaka topping
250g tub of ricotta
10 fl oz (275 ml) whole milk
1 oz (25 g) plain flour
1 oz (25 g) butter
Â¼ whole nutmeg, grated
1 large egg
1 oz (25 g) freshly grated Parmesan
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
First of all pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350Â°F (180Â°C) and prepare the aubergines, or egg plants, by one of the methods given above.
Put the stock and the Puy lentils into a saucepan, cover and simmer for 15 minutes then add the green lentils. Cover the pan again and cook for another 15 minutes, most of the stock should now have been absorbed and the lentils should be soft.
While the lentils are cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan and cook the onions for about 5 minutes until they soften and and begin to go brown at the, add the chopped pepper and cook for a further 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic an cook the mixture for another minute. Remove the mixture from the pan and set aside.
Rinse and dry the aubergines, then add the rest of the oil to the frying pan, and on a high heat cook the aubergines until they begin to brown a little on both sides. Add the tomatoes and the onion and pepper mixture to the pan. Add the wine, tomato puree and cinnamon and stir well.
Now add the lentils and chopped parsley, season with salt and pepper and simmer gently while you make the sauce for the moussaka topping.
To make the sauce for the moussaka topping place the milk, flour, butter and nutmeg in a saucepan and whisk (using a balloon whisk) until it begins to simmer and becomes a smooth glossy sauce.
Remove the sauce from the heat, let it cool slightly then season with salt and pepper and whisk in the ricotta followed by the beaten egg.
Now all that's left to do to make the vegetarian moussaka is to transfer the vegetable and lentil mix into an ovenproof dish and spoon the cheese sauce over the top. Sprinkle with Parmesan and bake on the middle shelf for about 1 hour.
A Twist On Moussaka! - If you would like to be a little more creative with your moussaka...
Ever since I discovered Moussaka I have been trying out different recipes and different ways with Moussaka. Here are just a few of my favourites that are just that little bit different... A twist on Moussaka!
It all started off with my adventurous streak in cooking when I thought 'Why not have Moussaka meet with Shepherds Pie? It's not really that weird, the result is actually very nice and all that you have to do to make this 'Moussaka' that little bit different is simply replace the moussaka topping with mashed potato sprinkled with a little cheese before baking it in the oven.
The Great Moussaka Taste Test
Tesco Finest Classic Lamb Moussaka
We enjoyed the taste of this moussaka, it was full of lamb mince in a rich sauce, layered with aubergines, potatoes and tomatoes, and topped with a bechamel sauce and cheese.
I thought the whole slices of tomato were a little too thick and unusual though, and, I am not sure that I thought that they brought anything to the moussaka.
I suppose the advantage of a ready made moussaka is that it comes in its own baking try which you just pop into a pre heated oven, this one takes between 45 to 50 minutes to cook, and you just throw away the tray afterwards so you don't have any stubborn, burnt on bits to cope with in the washing up.
The moussaka is plenty for 2 generous servings, we served our moussaka with a green salad and crusty bread on the side, so it made a filling meal.
Nutritional values for a half pack of moussaka:
580kcal, 24.2g Protein, 24.7g Carbohydrate (of which 10.3g are sugars), a scary 42.6g Fat (15.0g saturates), 10.9g Fibre, 1g Sodium, 2.5g Salt Equivalent.
Tesco Finest Moussaka Pros
The moussaka is ready made so no preparation time is required.
There is no stubborn washing up to do as the moussaka comes in its own foil tray which you just throw away after cooking.
2 generous servings, and, overall a nice flavoured lamb moussaka
The tomatoes are really too thick, the woody cores were left in (one of my pet hates with tomatoes), and the flesh was still firm.
Tesco Finest Moussaka Cons
Though the top of the moussaka looks reasonably similar to the photo on the box before you serve it up I defy anyone to remove the moussaka from it's cooking tray and have it look on the plate as it does in the picture on the box... Impossible!
Overall Rating For Tesco Finest Classic Lamb Moussaka: 7/10
How Do You Rate Tesco Finest Moussaka?
Real Greek at Home: Dishes from the Heart of the Greek Kitchen
Amazon Customer Review
There are a fair number of Greek cookbooks which repeat the same "tired" versions of Greek dishes. This book shows that the chef is truly a chef. He does not limit himself to past versions. I liked his ideas and they also taste very good. His creatvity comes through and should be applauded. Too often, I have heard complaints when a chef makes changes or comes up with new intepretations that "This is not Greek food." Well, yes it is and it is excellent.