Moussaka is one of my favorite Greek dishes. It is the ultimate comfort food, at least for me. The silkiness of the béchamel sauce combined with the robust flavor of the meat and the earthiness of the eggplant, not to mention the creamy potatoes… need I say more?
Ideal for a winter Sunday lunch with the whole family, pairs well with a green salad and a good glass of red wine.
For 8 people. My baking dish is 11″ x 8.5″ x 2.5″.
the ragù sauce
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced
one onion, roughly chopped
2 lb ground beef
6oz tomato puree
1/4 cup water
the béchamel sauce
1 stick of butter
about 1.5 cups of flour
about 6 cups of milk
1/2 cup Greek kefalotiri cheese, grated. You can use Pecorino Romano as well.
you will also need
1/2 cup Greek kefalotiri cheese, grated (or Pecorino Romano )
1 large eggplant cut in 1/4 inch slices
4-5 medium gold potatoes cut in 1/4 inch slices
salt and ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
the ragù sauce
In a large saute pan, heat 2-3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat.
Add the onions and the garlic, and saute until tender.
Add the ground beef and pork, in stages if necessary, and brown well, breaking up pieces with a wooden spoon.
Add tomato paste and 1/4 of a cup of water and stir well.
Season with salt, black pepper, a pinch or two of nutmeg and pinch or two of dried oregano. Add 2-3 cloves.
Stir well and remove from heat.
Preheat oven at 350F. Cut eggplant into 1/2-inch-thick round slices.
Lay eggplant slices on a large baking sheet, add a tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper.
Roast slices in the oven until soft, about 15 minutes, Remove from oven and let cool.
In a large saucepan, melt 1 stick of butter over medium-low heat, and gradually whisk in flour. Cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Do not let it brown.
Add milk and whisk rapidly to combine. Bring to a slow boil, whisking constantly.
Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring frequently, until smooth and thickened.
Whisk in the kefalotiri cheese, stir well.
Season with salt to taste, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Remove from heat.
preheat oven to 350 degrees.
about the potatoes
You have the choice of lightly frying the potato slices, just enough for the edges to get a little golden before assembling them in the moussaka or just just leaving them raw and they cook in the dish. I do it both ways, meaning that if I can’t be bothered I just assemble the dish with the potatoes raw and it still comes out pretty perfect. I suggest you try both ways and decide how you like it.
Make 1 layer of the potato slices, season with salt and pepper, then add another layer. Sprinkle some more kefalotiri cheese.
Layer the eggplant. Sprinkle some more grated cheese then top with the meat sauce. Spread meat evenly and sprinkle more cheese.
Lay the bechamel over the meat, add remaining grated cheese and place in preheated oven. Bake for an hour or until top is golden brown.
Let cool for about 15 to 30 minutes, and serve.
Pairs great with the traditional green Greek salad (lettuce, dill, scallions, salt, pepper, olive oil & vinegar) and a glass of good red wine 🙂