Traditional Homemade Moussaka recipe

Moussaka

Moussaka

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 25x32 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 toakispetretzikis.com