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
- 3 potatoes
- 2 zucchini
- 2 eggplants
- sunflower oil, for frying
For ground meat
- 1 onion
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic
- 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
- ½ bunch parsley
- ½ bunch basil
For béchamel sauce
- 100 g butter
- 100 g all-purpose flour
- 750 g milk
- pinch of ground nutmeg
- 150 g parmesan, grated
- 3 egg yolks
- fresh herbs
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 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.
- 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 to akispetretzikis.com