Moussaka is by far one of the most loved dishes in Greece, served in almost every traditional tavern and prepared in every Greek household worldwide.

Authentic moussaka features a rich tomato meat sauce layered with eggplant potatoes, zucchini and then topped with a creamy layer of béchamel sauce.

This traditional Greek recipe takes time to assemble, but it’s well worth the effort.

Here is a delicious recipe from popular Greek chef Akis Petretzikis

Ingredients

  • 3 potatoes
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 eggplants
  • salt
  • pepper
  • sunflower oil, for frying

For ground meat

  • 1 onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • thyme
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 levelled teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 500 g ground meat
  • 400 g canned chopped tomatoes
  • salt
  • pepper
  • ½ bunch parsley
  • ½ bunch basil

For béchamel sauce

  • 100 g butter
  • 100 g all-purpose flour
  • 750 g milk
  • salt
  • pepper
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 150 g parmesan, grated
  • 3 egg yolks

To serve

  • fresh herbs
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

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 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 pan.
  • Finely chop the garlic and add to 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.

For more of Akis Petretzikis delicious recipes head to akispetretzikis.com


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