Are you hungry? Today with the help of my grandmother I will give you a recipe of Mousaka (Μουσακάς). This is one of the most known food we have and one of the “must eat” once you visit Greece. This food requires a lot of efforts and time to be cooked. So, here we are:
Ingredients (Yλικά) for 8-10 portions (size of the oven pan 25×35):
6 aubergines (μελιτζάνες)
Oil (λάδι) to fry the aubergines
700gr minced beef (κιμά μοσχαρίσιο)
1 big onion (κρεμμύδι) finely sliced
1 glass of white wine (λευκό κρασί), not retsina!
1 coffee cup olive oil (ελαιόλαδο)
1 big spoon tomato paste (πελτέ ντομάτας)
1 bay leaf (φύλλο δάφνης)
1 teaspoon cinnamon (κανέλα)
4 grains of allspice(μπαχάρι)
salt (αλάτι) and pepper(πιπέρι)
For the Bechamel Sauce (μπεσαμέλ):
3 big spoons fresh butter (βούτυρο)
4 big spoons flour (αλεύρι)
2 water glasses of milk (γάλα)
2 eggs (αβγά)
1 pinch of nutmeg (μοσχοκάρυδο)
1 tea cup grated Kasseri cheese (κασσέρι)
salt and pepper
Remove the stems from the aubergines and cut lengthways into thick slices of 1 cm. Salt them and put them in a colander for ½ hour. Take them out, squeeze gently, rinse, and then squeeze them again.Fry them (or shallow-fry them) until they become pale golden on both sides. Afterwards, drain them on absorbent paper to remove the most of their oil
Prepare the minced meat. In a big pan, heat the olive oil and sautee the chopped onion until it looks glistening. Add the meat and sautee together, stirring, until the meat starts to change color. Add the white wine. Cook the mixture until the wine evaporates. Dissolve the tomato paste in some water and then add it into the meat. Put the bay leaf, cinnamon, allspice, pepper and salt. Stir and cook until all liquid evaporate and minced meat is dried. Let it cool.
Prepare the sauce. Heat the fresh butter in a saucepan, add the flour and cook until it become darker and add the hot milk while stirring continuously . Once the sauce thickens, remove from heat and add the nutmeg, a pinch of salt and plenty of pepper. Add the cheese and stir, then add the eggs and stir quickly until they are absorbed by the rest of the mixture. Let it wait.
Take a roasting container and put to the bottom create a layer with the slices of eggplant placing them very close without leaving any gaps. Pour over the meat and move it to go everywhere and then do a second layer with the remaining slices of the eggplant. Pour the Bechamel sauce and straighten it with a knife. Then you bake it in the oven for about 1 hour until a golden crust is formed on top. Before cutting into pieces the Moussaka let it sit for ½ hour.