Share in the secrets behind the Greek dish of lamb moussaka and all its layers upon layers of cheese and mince and tradition!

Ingredients:

Serves 6-8

For the eggplant and potatoes:

  • 4 large eggplants, sliced into
    1cm thick rounds
    4 large potatoes, peeled and slice into ½cm rounds
    Salt, pepper and olive oil

For the lamb-tomato sauce:

  • 1kg minced lamb
    1 large onion, medium diced
    2 tblspns minced garlic
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 tblspn chopped fresh oregano (1 teaspoon dried)
    1 bay leaf
    ¼ tspn cinnamon or 1 x 5cm stick
    1 cup red wine
    400g tinned tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
    For the Béchamel sauce
    4 tblspns butter
    4 tblspns flour
    500ml milk
    1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
    1 cup natural yoghurt
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To finish

  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
    ¼ cup fetta cheese (crumbled)
    2 tblspns fresh mint, roughly chopped (2cm)
    2 tblspns fresh parsley, roughly chopped (2cm)

Method:

For the eggplant and potatoes: spread the sliced potatoes and eggplant separately on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Brush with olive oil and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. In an
oven pre-heated to 200°C, cook the vegetables until lightly browned and still slightly under.

Allow to cool on the tray. For the lamb tomato sauce mixture: place a sauté pan on the stove over medium high
heat. Sauté the ground lamb until it begins to turn brown. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for 5 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Drain off any excess fat from the pan. Season the mixture with oregano, bay leaf and cinnamon and cook for 3 more minutes. Deglaze the pan with red wine. Cook over medium high heat until the red wine has reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally until the ixture is a thick tomato sauce consistency, about 30 minutes. Check for seasoning. Remove from the heat and cool completely.

For the Béchamel sauce:

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour to make a roux. Cook the roux over medium heat for 3 or 4 minutes, or until it becomes a very pale tan colour. Slowly add the hot milk, whisking constantly. Add the nutmeg. Simmer, stirring constantly, over low heat for 15 minutes.

The mixture should be fairly thick. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and yoghurt. Take half cup of the hot milk mixture and whisk it into the beaten egg mixture. This will temper the egg. Whisk the egg/milk mixture back into the milk mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and cool.

To finish:

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease the bottom of a 20cm x 40cm baking dish with a tablespoon of butter. Place a layer of the potatoes then place a layer of the eggplant. Place half of the lamb tomato sauce mixture
over the first potato and eggplant layer.

Top the lamb with another layer of eggplant. Then add the remaining lamb mixture. Place one more layer of eggplant over the lamb mixture. Top with the Béchamel sauce. Sprinkle with the fetta cheese and the Parmesan cheese.

Season well and place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before cutting and serving. Sprinkle with mint and parsley and serve with yoghurt on the side.