The moussaka, the most famous Greek dish, is a succulent casserole made of eggplants, lamb ragout and cheese, topped with béchamel sauce... if you haven't tried it yet, you really should!
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What comes on your mind when I say Greece? Of course the crystal water, the sunny islands and the Parthenon, but how can we fail to mention the moussaka, one of the most famous dishes of this country? The moussaka is a succulent casserole made of eggplants, lamb ragout and cheese, arranged in layers, and topped with plenty of béchamel sauce. Let's see together what ingredients we'll need:
• 3,3 lbs (1 ½ kg) of eggplants
• 1 lb (500 g) of ground lamb meat
• 1 lb (500 g) of ground pork meat
• pepper / salt / 2 cloves of garlic
• ½ tsp of powdered cinnamon
• 2 onions / 1 lb (500 g) of tomatoes
• 1 cup (100 g) of grated parmesan cheese • 1 ½ cups (150 g) of grated pecorino cheese
• 1 lb (500 g) of potatoes
• 1 glass of red wine
• nutmeg / 3,5 oz (100 g) of butter
• just over ¾ cup (100 g) of flour / extra virgin olive oil
• just over 2 pints (1 lt) of fresh milk
• and for frying peanut seed oil
Let's make together the moussaka:
2 hours before starting the recipe, wash the eggplants, remove the green top and cut into slices ¼ inch (½ cm) thick, then put them in a colander in layers alternating with coarse salt; then cover with a plate, put a weight on top to press down, and let them stay for 2 hours. After 2 hours, of course I've already done it, the eggplants will have released this dark bitter liquid. Now set everything aside.
In a large pan, put 3-4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, the chopped onions and garlic; let them brown lightly, after that add the meat. Brown the meat well, after that add a glass of red wine.
Now that the wine has completely evaporated, add salt... pepper... the powdered cinnamon, and stir well. Now add the tomatoes, that have been previously peeled and cut into cubes. Cover with a lid... and cook for at least 1 hour on a very low flame.
While the ragout is cooking, prepare the potatoes: wash, peel and cut them into slices ¼ inch (½ cm) thick, then boil in plenty of salted water for 5 minutes, the potatoes must hold their shape, without breaking; after that, pat them dry with a clean cloth to remove the excess water and fry them in oil, as I'm doing now. Do the same with the eggplants, but take care to wash them well under cold running water.. dry them with a clean cloth, then fry them in plenty of oil.
In this pan, I've made the béchamel sauce using butter, flour, milk, nutmeg and salt, if you want to see the video recipe, click here. Now mix the cheeses, pecorino and parmesan, and add just over ½ cup (60 g) to the béchamel sauce. Mix to blend well.
Now, move on to assembling the moussaka: take a 9 by 12 inches baking pan and line the bottom with the potatoes, arrange them all on the bottom; now take half of the fried eggplants and form the first layer; spread half of the ragout over the eggplants, then sprinkle with cheese, but remember to keep aside 3 tablespoons of cheese that you'll sprinkle on top of the béchamel sauce at the end. Then continue to assemble the moussaka.
Sprinkle the first layer of moussaka with half of the cheese... then form another layer just like this one.
After making the second layer, top everything with the béchamel sauce, that, as you can see, must be quite thick; at this point, sprinkle the remaining cheese, then bake the moussaka at 350°F for about 45 minutes or until the béchamel sauce turns golden brown on top.
45 min. -- 350°F (180°C)
Once ready, take the moussaka out of the oven, let it cool and set, then cut into squares and serve. Enjoy your moussaka, from Sonia and Giallozafferano, bye and see you next video recipe.