Moussaka
Taverna Sebastian Moussaka

• 1 pound Ground Beef
• 6 tablespoons cooking oil
• 1 onion, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/2 cup red wine
• 1 tablespoon tomato paste
• 1 1/2 cups canned crushed
    tomatoes in thick puree
    (or one 15 ounce can)
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
• 1 teaspoon salt
• Fresh ground black pepper
• 1 eggplant (about 1 pound)
    peeled and cut into 1/4 inch slices
• 4 ounces cream cheese
• 1/4 cups milk
• 1/4 cups grated Parmesan

>> Heat the broiler. In a large stainless-steel frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderate heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the Beef and cook until the meat loses its pink color, about 2 minutes. Stir in the wine, tomato paste, tomatoes, bay leaf, cinnamon, allspice, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, simmer covered for 10 minutes.
 >> Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with the remaining 5 tablespoons oil and season with 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Put the eggplant slices on a large baking sheet and broil, 6” from the heat, until browned, about 5 minutes. Turn and broil until browned on the other side, about 5 minutes longer.
 >> In a small saucepan, combine the cream cheese , milk, 1/8 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Warm over low heat until just melted.
 >> Oil an 8” by 8” baking dish. Layer half the eggplant in the dish, then half the meat sauce. Sprinkle with half the Parmesan. Repeat with the remaining eggplant, meat sauce, and Parmesan. Spoon the cream cheese sauce on top; broil until just starting to brown, 1 to 2 minutes.
Serves 4
Classic Greek Moussaka

EGGPLANT
2 large eggplants (about 3 pounds), unpeeled and cut lengthwise into 1/2" slices
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

MEAT SAUCE
2 pounds Ground Beef
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of ground cloves
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups whole, peeled
   canned tomatoes (with puree)
   roughly chopped
1 bay leaf

CUSTARD SAUCE
5 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons Pecorino Romano (or freshly grated Parmesan)

 >> Bake the eggplant: Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Brush the eggplant slices on both sides with the oil and lay on 2 small or 1 large foil lined baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake until the eggplant is soft, about 25 minutes. Set aside covered.
 >> The meat sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the beef, oregano, allspice, cloves and cinnamon. Break the Beef up into small pieces and season with the 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring, until just cooked but still slightly pink inside, about 1 minute more. Add the tomato and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until the sauce is thickened and fragrant, about 20 minutes.
 >> The custard sauce: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and add the milk, salt and nutmeg. Return to the heat and while whisking constantly, bring to a boil. Simmer 2 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and stir to cool. When the sauce is cool, whisk in the egg and yolks.
 >> Assemble the moussaka. Lower the oven to 350 degrees. Brush a 9" x 13" x 2" casserole dish with the oil. Scatter the breadcrumbs over the bottom of the pan. Lay half of the eggplant in the pan, overlapping the slices if needed. Cover with half of the meat sauce and smooth with a rubber spatula.
 >> Repeat with the remaining eggplant and meat sauce. Pour the custard sauce over the layered mixture and smooth with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle with the Pecorino Romano and bake, uncovered, until lightly browned and the custard is set, about 1 hour.
 >> Remove the moussaka from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon or spatula to serve.
Serves 6
Greek Moussaka is also know as ‘mousakas’.

Moussaka is an eggplant based casserole that is common throughout the Balkans and the Middle East. Greeks believe that moussaka was introduced when the Arabs brought the eggplant, although Arabs, especially in Lebanon, think of it as a Greek dish. Moussaka is a layered oven casserole dish made with vegetables and meat.

The most well known version of moussaka is made with layers of eggplant slices, cheese, and a meat sauce, topped with a thick bechamel sauce; however, other favorites call for potatoes, zucchini, or a combination of vegetables. Moussaka is a complex recipe and takes a while to make. It's much like making your own lasagna from scratch. Moussaka is not a hard dish to prepare, given a certain level of technical skill.
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