Greek Moussaka on a plate

Creamy, juicy and absolutely delicious. This Greek dish is a legend! 

Greek moussaka (mousaka) is one of the most popular dishes in Greece, served in almost every tavern and prepared in every household on special occasions and big family meals and for good reason! To prepare a traditional Greek Moussaka recipe, luscious layers of juicy beef mince (or lamb) are cooked in a tomato-based sauce, layered with sweet eggplants and creamy béchamel sauce, and baked together until golden perfection. Simply irresistible! With this step-by-step traditional Greek Moussaka recipe, you can easily recreate this traditional delight from scratch! So go ahead, indulge yourself in this little sin. This easy to follow Greek moussaka recipe never fails to impress and is always a crowd-pleaser. The essence of this traditional Greek moussaka recipe can be summarised in three key stages: preparing the meat filling, preparing the béchamel sauce, and cooking the eggplants. Each stage will require dirtying some pans, but I think you will agree that the end result is well worth it!

Ingredients

  • 3 potatoes 
  • 5-6 tablespoon(s) olive oil 
  • 1 onion 
  • 2 zucchinis, medium 
  • 2 eggplants 
  • thyme 
  • salt 
  • pepper

For the ground meat

  • 1 onion 
  • 2 tablespoon(s) olive oil, for sautéing 
  • 1 clove(s) of garlic 
  • 3 pinches granulated sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) nutmeg 
  • 1 level teaspoon(s) cinnamon 
  • 1 tablespoon(s) tomato paste 
  • 500 g ground beef 
  • 400 g canned tomatoes 
  • salt 
  • pepper

For the béchamel sauce

  • 100 g butter 
  • 100 g all-purpose flour 
  • 750 ml milk, 3,5% 
  • pepper, ground 
  • 1 pinch nutmeg, ground 
  • 100 g parmesan cheese, grated 
  • 3 egg yolks

Method

  • Place a deep pan over high heat. Add the sunflower oil and let it get hot.
  • Peel the potatoes and slice them into thin rounds.
  • Slice the eggplants and zucchini into thin rounds and fry in a separate pan for 5-10 minutes.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a baking pan lined with paper towels. Allow it to drain from excess oil.

For the ground meat

  • Place a pot over high heat and add the olive oil.
  • Coarsely chop the onion and add to the pan.
  • Finely chop the garlic and add to the pan along with thyme and sugar. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until they caramelize nicely.
  • Add the ground meat and break it up with a wooden spoon. Sauté until golden brown.
  • Add the tomato paste and sauté so that it loses its bitterness.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, lower heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  • Remove from heat and add the parsley and coarsely chopped basil. Season with salt and pepper.

For the béchamel sauce

  • Place a pot over medium heat.
  • Add the butter and let it melt.
  • Add the flour and whisk until it soaks up all of the butter.
  • Add the milk in small batches while continuously whisking so that no lumps form.
  • As soon as the béchamel sauce thickens and bubbles start to form on the surface, remove from heat.
  • Add the nutmeg, salt, pepper, 100 g parmesan and 3 egg yolks. Whisk thoroughly.

To assemble

  • Preheat oven to 180* C (350* F) Fan.
  • In a 25×32 cm baking pan, spread a layer of potatoes, cover with a layer of eggplants, and top with a layer of zucchini. Season in between layers.
  • Add 2-3 tablespoons of béchamel sauce to the ground meat mixture and mix. Spread the ground meat over the vegetables.
  • Cover with the béchamel sauce, spreading it evenly, and sprinkle with 50 g of grated parmesan.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  • When ready, remove from oven and allow to cool.
  • Serve with fresh herbs and olive oil.

Originally posted on akispetretzikis.com