The Aubergine • 3 medium aubergines, cut lengthwise - 1 cm thick slices, • Salt • Olive oil
The Sauce • 3 tablespoons olive oil • 1 kilo lean mince beef • 2 medium red onions, finely chopped • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg • 1/2 teaspoon freshly chopped herbs • 2 teaspoons dried oregano • 1 tablespoon tomato puree • 1 large glass of red wine • Salt & pepper to taste • Water
Béchamel Sauce • 100g plain flour • 100g butter • 1.5 litre hot milk • 1 egg yolk • 150 g Kefalotyri (Greek type of cheese) or grated Parmesan cheese • Pinch of nutmeg • Cayenne pepper • Salt and Pepper • 4 tbsp of grated parmesan/kefalotyri
How to Make
• Begin by laying the aubergine slices on paper towels and sprinkling them lightly with salt. Set them aside for 30 minutes to draw out the moisture. • In the meantime start to prepare the meat sauce. Heat the oil in a medium sized pan on a medium heat. Once the oil is hot add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Cook these until they become transparent. • Now add the minced beef and stir occasionally to make sure that the beef and onions do not burn. Once the beef is browned, (pour off any excess fat from the meat - if there is any) add the rest of the ingredients. The meat and onion mixture should now be covered by the red wine, if you need more liquid just add some water. Stir the mixture, cover and leave to simmer on a low heat for 20 minutes. • Whilst the sauce is cooking, check on the aubergine slices. They should be wet from the salt action - if not leave a bit longer. Give them a quick wash and sprinkle with ground black pepper. • Heat a frying pan with enough oil to cover the aubergine slices. Place as many slices as you can in the pan and leave them to become brown, turning over after 1-2 minutes. Remove them from the pan and leave them to drain on kitchen paper. • Finally, prepare the béchamel sauce. Heat the butter in a pan just before it starts to turn golden in colour, add the flour stirring constantly so that it does not turn lumpy. • Slowly add the hot milk stirring constantly with a whisk to make sure that no lumps form. • Take the pan off the heat and add the egg yolk, the pinch of nutmeg, the cheese, the salt and pepper stirring constantly. Once you have a smooth sauce, set the pan aside ready for the last stage.
The Final Stage • Lightly oil 13 x 9 x 2 inch glass baking dish. • Arrange half the aubergine slices in a single layer on the bottom of the dish. • Spoon half of the mince beef sauce evenly over the aubergine. • Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons the cheese. • Repeat with another layer of aubergine, sauce 2 tablespoons cheese. • Finally pour the béchamel sauce over the top and sprinkle with a little nutmeg, salt and pepper. • Bake Moussaka at 180 degrees until heated through and sauce is golden brown on top, 45 minutes. • Cool for 30 minutes before serving.