Submitted by: calou347976 | website: Mia Cucina
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Moussaka could be the Greek equivalent of eggplant Parmesan or an eggplant lasagna topped with a rich bechamel sauce. This version follows the Greek tradition of using lamb as the meat portion of the filling.
- Servings: 8
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours
|3||Medium Eggplants, sliced diagonally ¼" thick|
|¼ cup||Kosher or Sea Salt|
|2||Medium Baking Potatoes, peeled and ½" dice|
|1 cup||Plus 3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil|
|1 cup||All Purpose Flour|
|2||Medium Onions, coarsely chopped|
|3||Garlic Cloves, minced|
|2 lbs||Lean Ground Lamb|
|3 Tbsp||Tomato Paste|
|Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste|
|1× 35 oz can||Italian Peeled Tomatoes, drained well and chopped|
|1 lb||Feta Cheese, crumbled|
|1 cup||Heavy Cream|
prepare the eggplant:
Place a colander over a plate, then layer eggplant slices in colander, sprinkling each layer liberally with salt. Let stand 30 minutes. This will remove the bitterness from the eggplant.
prepare the potatoes:
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, cook the potatoes in boiling water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
fry the eggplant:
Rinse the eggplant to remove most of the salt, pat the eggplant dry with a paper towel. In a large, heavy skillet, heat 1/4 cup of olive oil over high heat. Dredge the eggplant slices in the flour and shake off any excess. Add the eggplant to the skillet in batches and fry over high heat, using up to an additional 3/4 cups of oil as necessary, until all the eggplant slices have been browned, about 2 minutes per side. Drain the fried eggplant on paper towels to remove excess oil. Reserve the largest and most attractive slices to top the moussaka.
saute the onions:
Wipe the skillet clean. Add the remaining oil and heat over moderate heat. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and golden brown, 5-10 minutes.
add the lamb:
Add the lamb and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until no traces of pink remains, about 10 minutes.
bring it all together:
Transfer the lamb mixture to a colander and drain, then return it to the skillet. Stir in the tomato paste, brandy, cinnamon, thyme and pepper. Cook over moderate heat for 1 minute, stirring to blend flavors. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the tomatoes, reserved potatoes, the feta cheese, then stir well to combine.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
build the Moussaka:
Line the bottom and sides of a 5-6 quart, shallow baking dish with the fried eggplant slices, overlapping slightly. Reserve about 30 of the best looking eggplant slices for the top of the moussaka. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs and the heavy cream. Spoon half of the meat mixture into the lined baking dish, then pour on half the egg and heavy cream mixture and top with half the fried eggplant. Repeat with the remaining meat and egg mixture. Cover with the reserved eggplant slices, overlapping slightly in a decorative pattern.
bake the Moussaka:
Bake until the egg mixture is set and the top is nicely browned, about 45 minutes. Let the baked moussaka stand for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Slice in eight equal portions and serve accompanied by spanakopita and/or a Greek salad.
Moussaka, in my mind, is the Greek equivalent of eggplant Parmesan or an eggplant lasagna topped with a rich bechamel sauce. In this version, I followed the Greek tradition of using lamb as the meat portion of the filling. I'm sure it's a dish the whole family will enjoy, even the eggplant haters.