No one knows what the origin of moussaka is but a recipe from a thirteenth-century Arabic cookbook known as the Baghdad cookery book was proposed by one food historian as the ancestor of moussaka. The layered version that is more popular in the west was devised by Greek chef Nikos Tselementes (in the 1920′s) who wanted to “clear” Greek food from Turkish flavors, By adding a Bechamel he made the dish more French. Now this is not the classic moussaka devised by Nikos, a classic moussaka is made from lamb but my adding potato doesn’t change the idea of the dish as it is accepted that it can be made using available fresh ingredients, if you wanted to add courgettes or anything else, feel free to do so.
500gms Minced Beef (or lamb)
400gms Tomatoes (or a can)
1 med Onion
3-4 sliced Garlic cloves
1/2tsp All Spice
Glass Red Wine
2tbsp Tomato Paste
2tbsp read Crumbs
100gm Feta Cheese (50gm in the Mousakka, 50gms to go on top)
Olive oil for frying
Salt and pepper
300ml bechamel sauce
To make a bechamel
Put 25gms of butter in a pan, melt, add 25gm Flour and cook without colouring, over a medium heat slowly add milk combining the milk and the butter/flour, season.
Peeling is optional, but as I don’t like the texture of the peel I peel mine
Peel the aubergines and slice into half cm slices.
Put in a bowl of salted water for 15 minutes to stop them browning.
Lay the aubergines on an oven tray and drizzle with Olive oil
Roast till starting to brown at 200°c
Slice potatoes and boil till cooked.
In a frying pan heat a little olive oil
Start frying the onions and garlic, add the meat and cook till brown
To peel tomatoes, cover in boiling water, leave for 20 secs (no more)
Cool under a cold tap, the skins will come of really easily.
Add all the other ingredients except the Aubergine and Potatoes.
Mix everything together, cook till the wine and tom paste has made a thick sauce.
I managed to get to bread tins of moussaka from this recipe as I want to freeze them, use a larger oven proof dish to get 4-5 portions in 1 bake.
Rub oil in the dish’s then run breadcrumbs on to the oil. Put in a layer of aubergines.
Then a layer of boiled potato slices
Top with the meat.
Then another layer of aubergine
Then the sauce,
If your going to eat this after cooking, put the rest of the Feta cheese on top and bake at 180°c for 50 minutes. I left the cheese off as I will add it when I reheat, I may add some Ricotta as well. You could use Chedder or Parmesan instead.