Eggplant Moussaka

3 medium eggplants
1 C flour
1/4 C oil
1 lb ground lamb (or beef)
2 tomatoes, seeded and roughly chopped
8 oz. tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t dried oregano
1/4 t cinnamon
1 t salt
1 C grated kefalotiri or parmesan cheese
4 T butter
4 T flour
2 C milk
dash of nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
2 egg yolks

Preheat oven to 375 ° F. Peel eggplants and slice into 1/4″ thick rounds. Sprinkle both sides of each round with salt and let rest on paper towels to draw out the bitterness, about 30 minutes. Then dry thoroughly and dredge each round in flour.

While the eggplant is resting, make the meat sauce. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan and saute the onions until transparent. Add the lamb and brown, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, oregano, cinnamon and salt. Let simmer, uncovered and reduce. Sauce is ready when tomatoes have broken down and aromas have conmingled. Set sauce aside and quickly wipedown pan.

Add more oil to the pan. Add eggplant slices and clook until lightly golden on both sides. Cook in batches, adding oil as needed. Set aside.

Finally, make the bechamel. To do this, melt butter in a small saucepan. Do not let butter bubble or brown. Add flour and whisk until blended and smooth, about 3 to 5 minuts. Slowly add milk, stirring continuously, until sauce is creamy and thick, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in salt, pepper and nutmeg. Let sauce cool a bit, then beat in egg yolks. Set aside.

Grease a 9’x9′ casserole dish. Cover the bottom of the dish with eggplant. Add a layer of cheese. Add the meat sauce and smooth. Add another layer of eggplant and another layer of cheese. Cover with the bechamel and top with remaining cheese. Bake for 45 minutes, or until top is lightly browned.

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