2 large aubergines
2 medium red onions, finely chopped
Handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
500g lean minced beef
500g minced pork
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
125 ml white wine
700g tomato passatta
500g potatoes, peeled
125g plain flour
2 bay leaves
4-5 whole peppercorns
1 litre milk
Freshly grated nutmeg
Trim the tops off the aubergines, then slice them lengthways into 5mm slices. Sprinkle salt generously over the slices and leave them in a bowl for about 30 minutes to draw out the bitter juices.
Fry the pork and beef mince in a large frying pan until browned and then pour off the excess fat. Put to one side.
In a separate large thick-bottomed saucepan, heat a big glug of extra virgin olive and saute the onions until softened and lightly golden.
Add the garlic and the roughly chopped parsley and cook for another minute or so.
Add the browned mince to the onions and give it a good stir.
Add the cinnamon, oregano and bay leaf and season well with salt and pepper.
Pour in the wine and mix well, scraping around the bottom to get all the flavours combined.
Cook for a minute or so until most of the wine is evaporated and then add the passatta.
Leave it to simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile put your milk in a saucepan with a couple of bay leaves and 4 or 5 whole peppercorns.
Bring to the boil and them immediately remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 30 minutes whilst you are preparing your potatoes and aubergines.
Slice the potatoes lengthways into 5mm slices and pat them dry. Heat 4 or 5 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non-stick saucepan and fry the potatoes in batches over a medium heat until they are golden on both sides and cooked through.
Remove to a plate lined with kitchen paper to absorb the oil and sprinkle with a little salt.
Once you have your potato and aubergine slices ready and your mince sauce has reduced and thickened, you’re ready to start layering your moussaka. But first, put your milk back on a low heat to gently warm it again.
Preheat your oven to 180°C.
Arrange half the aubergine over the base of your oven dish (a standard lasagne dish will do).
Then add the potatoes in a single layer, if possible.
Then spoon over half the mince before adding another layer of aubergine slices.
Lastly add the final layer of mince and press down firmly with the back of your spoon.
You should still have an inch of space at the top of the dish.
Now it’s time to make the Bbechamel sauce.
Firstly, strain the milk through a sieve into a jug to get rid of the bay leaves and peppercorns.
Then melt the butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly.
Now begin adding the warm milk, whisking in a little bit at a time.
You must keep whisking continually! When the sauce is smooth but still thick (though not stiff), add salt, pepper and a little grating of nutmeg and continue to cook for another few minutes (again mixing all the time).
The finished sauce should be thick and smooth.
Spoon the béchamel sauce over the mince (it should come almost to the very lip of the dish).
Then bake for around 45 minutes or so until the moussaka begins to bubble and the top is golden in parts. Switch off the oven and leave the moussaka in there as the oven cools, so the bechamel sets slightly before serving. This is important!
Cut into squares and serve!
Well, if you’ve actually had the courage (and the stamina) to go through all of that, you will rewarded with a beautiful and delicious moussaka.
Could you tell me that isn’t better than anything you can order in a restaurant!!
Wishing you a great enjoyment!