Moussaka

Sorry that it’s been a while since my last update – it’s been a busy week and I’ve spent most of it cooking things that I’ve already listed on the blog. And last night I went out for dinner. Hey ho – I do have three things to blog though.

Last Saturday I made a delicious moussaka – it’s a recipe I love, although really it’s basically lasagne with aubergine instead of lasagne sheets! Nice and tasty though with strong cheeses and some nice herbs and spices.

For the filling:

Olive oil

600g lamb mince

1 large onion, finely chopped

2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

¼ of a teaspoon of cinnamon

¼ of a teaspoon of cumin

¼ of a teaspoon of allspice

½  a tablespoon of fresh mint, finely chopped

1 tablespoon of fresh oregano, chopped

2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes

100ml red wine

150ml chicken or lamb stock

3 medium aubergines, sliced

For the sauce:

2oz butter

2oz flour

150ml milk

150ml double cream

100g grated cheese, half cheddar, half mozzarella

1 tablespoon of Gran Padano

Pinch of nutmeg

2 egg yolks

Heat the olive oil in a large pan and gently fry the onions and garlic for a few minutes until the onion is soft.

Add the lamb and brown it add the cinnamon, cumin, allspice, chopped oregano and chopped mint and stir into the lamb and onion.

Add the stock, wine and tomatoes and stir to mix well.

Simmer gently for 30-40 minutes.

Whilst the lamb mix is simmering slice the aubergine and lay it out on a flat surface. Sprinkle with salt and leave for 20 minutes or so. This helps to draw out the bitter juices.

After 20 minutes, rinse the aubergine and pat dry.

Fry the aubergine slices for 8-10 minutes until golden on each side.

Make the sauce – melt the butter in a small saucepan and then stir in the flour. Cook this roux for 4 minutes or so and then stir in the milk and cream.

Stir continuously until the sauce thickens.

Stir in a pinch of nutmeg.

Stir in the tablespoon of Gran Panado and half of the cheddar and mozzarella.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

Once slightly cooled then stir in the egg yolks.

Cover the base of an ovenproof dish with half of the mince mix. Then arrange a layer of aubergine slices on top.

Repeat with another layer of mince and a final layer of aubergines.

Cover with cheese sauce and then sprinkle the other half of the cheddar and mozzarella over the top.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 for 20-30 minutes until bubbling and golden.

This is delicious – the combination of the lamb, mint, spices and rich tomatoey sauce, all topped off with a lovely cheese sauce work really well to give a nice alternative to lasagne.

Sorry there’s no photograph but Alberto and I were so hungry when I served it up that I completely forgot to take one

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About neilche

Hi. My name's Neil. I live in Brighton with my flatmate Alberto and I work as a Librarian at a local college. I like cooking, eating and socialising with friends. Which is what prompted me to start this blog. I cycle everywhere around town - it helps to work off the calories!
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