In a real Moussaka, eggplant is fried in olive oil. Yet, since eggplant can absorb what seems like an insane amount of oil, I decided to steam mine instead. Healthier and nobody really notices it because this recipe has so much in it. I generally use ground lamb but I have done it with beef or buffalo meat as well. Yes, it might be one of my "less" healthy recipes... but trust my family (and friends who tried it!), it's really worth it! And as long as you "balance out" over the course of one week, you don't have to feel guilty about eating Moussaka! Bon Appétit!
Ingredients (serve 6)
- 1 pound (500 gr) of ground lamb
- 1 clove of garlic, sliced
- 1 medium onion
- 1 large eggplant, sliced in big slices.
- 2 cups of Tomato sauce
- Salt and fresh black pepper
- Fresh thyme (optional)
- Parmesan (shredded)
For the Sauce Béchamel (White sauce)
- 3.5 tablespoon (50g) butter
- 1/2 cup (50g) All Purpose flour
- 2.5 cups (60cl) milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
Steaming the eggplants:
Preparing the Red Sauce:
- In a pot/steamer, steam the eggplants
- Drain them thoroughly
Preparing the Sauce Béchamel:
- In a large saute pan, saute the garlic and the onion in olive oil
- Add the lamb and fresh Thyme and cook until the lamb is well cooked
- Add the tomato sauce and warm up the whole mixture while you prepare the Sauce Béchamel.
- Pour over the eggplants
- Pre-heat over to 350°F (180°C)
Setting the Moussaka:
- In a pot melt butter over medium heat. When the butter starts to bubble, pour in the flour and whisk for 2-3 minutes until golden blond (not brown!).This creates the "roux".
- Warm the milk (supposedly, the milk has to be just below boiling point but I just warm it in the microwave)
- Pour in the milk one cup at a time and whisk until the sauce thickens (it takes at least 5 minutes)
- Add salt and pepper to taste
My personal comments:
- Lay the eggplant slices on the bottom of an oven dish
- Pour the Red Sauce over the eggplants
- Pour the Sauce Béchamel over the meat/tomato sauce
- Cover with shredded Parmesan
- Cook in the oven for 20-30 minutes until golden brown
- Serve warm with a green salad on the side.
- I have started to like it a little bit spicy so I add Tabasco sauce (hot sauce) when eating it.
- I use a pressure cooker to steam the eggplant; it takes less than 3 minutes. I don't care if the eggplants are mushy because they'll be covered by the meat and the Béchamel.
- I don't use canned tomato sauce; I have found a tomato-basil sauce in a glass jar that I like and use as a base for some of my recipes. You might need to add more sauce if you are cooking it with beef or buffalo since lamb releases more fat.