Sort of. Without the pasta and much, much tastier. I’m talking about moussaka.
Moussaka is a traditional Greek dish consisting of different layers including potatoes, eggplant, zucchini, a ground beef mixture, and a thick coating of bechamel. It’s usually offered in most Greek restaurants (or atleast good ones) and is pretty filling. Warning: it’s addictively good. Think of it like lasagna, layers upon layers of deliciousness. Atleast there’s vegetables in this dish. Makes it healthy…right?
Now, I think I might have to do a repost on this since I pulled a newbie mistake and picked up cucumbers instead of zucchinis. Total rookie mistake (they were in a bag on the 50% off rack…oops). And I also never carry dairy milk in my fridge anymore and had to create a makeshift bechamel sauce with buttermilk (basically added so much Parmesan cheese just to counter the sour taste — it turned into a cheese sauce). So yeah. I’ll have to redo this one in the future. Sorry guys!
My advice would be to pre-cook your veggies beforehand. I like to roast my eggplant and zucchini (if using any). Feel free to use as many or as little vegetables as you would like (I doubled up the eggplant to make up for the lack of zucchini). For the potatoes, I usually just slice them really thin and let the juices from the meat seep into all the layers to help them cook. It’s also a good idea to cook your bechamel and meat mixture ahead of time as well while the vegetables are cooking. After that, it’s simple — layer and bake away!
Take my advice and double this recipe. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
What you’ll need:
– 1 red potato, sliced very thinly
– 2 large eggplants, sliced, lightly drizzled with olive oil
– 2 tsps vegetable oil
– 1.5 lbs extra lean ground beef
– 2 tsps Greek oregano
– 1/2 cup red wine
– 1 (5 oz) can of tomato paste
– 1 cup feta cheese, drained and crumbled
– Salt and pepper, to taste
– Your favourite bechamel recipe (will post my own when I redo this recipe!)
What you’ll need to do:
1. Preheat your oven to 400F and roast your eggplants for 20-25 minutes until cooked. Once cooked, remove from oven and let cool. Reduce the temperature to 350F.
2. In the meantime, make your meat mixture. In a medium-sized saucepan, heat your oil until hot over medium-high heat. Add your ground beef until cooked through and no pink remains. Season with oregano, salt and pepper and red wine and cook until it completely dissolves. Add the tomato paste and stir. Turn off the heat and add your feta cheese. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. Make your bechamel sauce and set aside.
4. In a medium casserole dish (atleast 2″ deep), begin to layer your moussaka: potato, eggplant, meat mixture, bechamel. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through. Let sit for an hour otherwise there will be a pool of juices at the bottom when you serve it.
5. Serve with Greek salad and pita. Makes 6-8 servings.