Mince (ground meat) is a cheap cut of meat and can get quite boring being made up into the same usual dishes. It doesn't have to be. Greek Moussaka is an interesting, flavoursome dish that incorporates the typical flavours of Greece with cinnamon, garlic and oregano which is layered with both eggplant (aubergines) and potatoes and topped with a rich bechamel sauce. I used a recipe of Rick Stein's and added potatoes.
Greek Moussaka with Eggplant & Potatoes
Based on Rick Stein's Recipe
150-175ml/5-6fl oz olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
900g/2lb lean minced lamb
50ml/2 fl oz white wine or 1 tbs wine vinegar
1 x 400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes
1 x 5cm/2in piece cinnamon stick or 1 tsp ground cinnamon
a handful of fresh oregano leaves, preferably wild Greek oregano, chopped or 1 tbs dried oregano
3 large aubergines (eggplant)
2 potatoes, sliced and par boiled for 10 mins
salt and pepper
75g/3 oz butter
75g/3oz plain flour
600ml/1 pint milk
50g/2oz Parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 medium eggs, beaten
- For the lamb sauce, heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a pan. Add the onions and garlic and fry until just beginning to brown. Add the minced lamb and fry over a high heat for 3-4 minutes. Add the wine, tomatoes, cinnamon and oregano and simmer gently for 30-40 minutes while you make everything else.
- Slice the stalks off the aubergines and cut them lengthways into 5mm/1/4 inch slices. Heat a frying pan until it is jumping hot, add 1 tablespoon of the oil and a layer of aubergine slices and fry quickly until tender and lightly coloured on each side. Repeat with the rest of oil and aubergines.
- For the topping, melt the butter in a non-stick pan, add the flour and cook over a medium heat for 1 minute to cook out the flour. Gradually beat in the milk, bring to the boil, stirring, and leave to simmer very gently for 10 minutes, giving it a stir every now and then. Stir in the cheese and some salt and pepper to taste. Cool slightly and then beat in the eggs.