This Moussaka recipe is one of my all-time favourite recipes. It’s a perfect blend of creamy white sauce and deliciously flavoured meat that has just a hint of cinnamon. It also tastes amazing if you substitute the aubergines with either patty pan squash or courgette slices. I treat them the same way I do the aubergines. I griddle them before layering them into the moussaka and they taste amazing. Perfect for using up the aubergine or courgette glut. Especially those sneaky little courgettes that you either forget to pick or you just don’t see and they turn into whopping great marrows 🙂
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tsp cumin seeds (I use ground cumin)
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 500g lean lamb mince
- 200ml red wine
- 1 cinnamon stick (I use ground cinnamon)
- 400g can chopped tomatoes (you can also use fresh tomatoes)
- Pinch of caster sugar
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2-3 large aubergines, thickly sliced
- 75g butter
- 75g plain flour
- 600ml milk
- 1 large free-range egg yolk
- 75g Parmesan, grated
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Fry the onion for 5 minutes, stirring, until soft. Add the garlic and cumin and fry for 1 minute. Add the purée and fry for 1 more minute. Turn up the heat, add the lamb, season and fry for 5 minutes until browned all over. Pour away any excess oil.
- Add the wine and cinnamon, then, after 2-3 minutes, add the tomatoes, 100ml water, the sugar and oregano. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thick. Season.
- Meanwhile, heat a griddle pan until very hot. Brush the aubergine with the rest of the oil, season and griddle on both sides until golden brown. Set aside on kitchen paper.
- Make a white sauce. Melt the butter in a small pan, add the flour and stir to make a roux (paste). Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the milk. Place over a gentle heat and simmer, stirring, until thickened. Remove from the heat, stir in the egg yolk and half the cheese. Season to taste.
- Layer the aubergine and mince in a 2-litre ovenproof dish. Repeat, then spread the white sauce on top. Scatter with the remaining cheese and sprinkle with the nutmeg.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden. Serve with a green salad.