Moussaka Recipe

From Dorothy McNett's Recipe Book.

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Moussaka

From Dorothy McNett's recipes at www.dorothymcnett.com. This serves about 12.

2 medium to large eggplants
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter or extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds ground lamb or lean ground beef
1 full sized onion, chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine or broth (beef or vegetable)
3-4 tablespoons freshly minced parsley
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice

4 cups milk
5 eggs
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup all purpose unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup bread crumbs
3/4 - 1 cup freshly grated Greek Kasseri cheese (or Parmigiano-Reggiano)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice unpeeled eggplants about 3/4 inch thick. Place slices in single layer on silicone or parchment lined baking sheets. Sprinkle with the olive oil. Roast about 30-40 minutes, or until tender and lightly browned. In meantime, in a heavy bottomed saute pan heat the 2 tablespoons butter or oil and then add the ground meat and chopped onion. Cook and stir until meat is browned and onions are cooked and turning a little brown, about 5-6 minutes, breaking up any large meat chunks. Stir in the tomato paste, wine, chopped parsley, salt, pepper, cinnamon and allspice. Simmer, loosely covered, for about 20 minutes. Sauce should be quite thick, not runny. In meantime, make the bechamel sauce (white sauce). Heat the milk in a glass measuring cup or batter bowl about 1 minute in microwave, just to warm it but not boiling hot. Set aside. Beat the eggs until light and fluffy and set aside. Using a heavy bottomed saucepan, melt the butter and then carefully whisk in the flour. Gradually whisk in the warmed milk, salt and pepper, cooking over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Slowly drizzle a little of the hot sauce into the beaten eggs, stirring gently, until all of the sauce has been added.
To assemble: Oven should be at 350 degrees. Oil a 9 by 13 inch baking dish (needs to be about 3 inches deep). Arrange half of the eggplant pieces in the dish. Stir the bread crumbs into the meat sauce and spread half of it over the eggplant. Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Cover with another layer of eggplant slices and then the rest of the meat sauce. Spoon the egg sauce over the top and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake about 45-50 minutes, perhaps a bit more as it depends on dish size, oven, etc. It should be lightly browned and set up. Remove from oven and allow to stand about 15 minutes before cutting into squares.

Recipe created 2013-01-06.

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