Moussaka – The Perfect Crowd Pleaser

Moussaka is a Greek dish of usually minced lamb, aubergine, potatoes and creamy sauce that is baked in layers like a lasagne. I really think of this as Greek lasagne and it is every bit as good as that sounds.

 I almost always use minced beef here as it is a dish I cook for a crowd and not everyone seems to be keen on minced lamb. Whichever meat you decide to use know that this will be delicious. It’s a great make ahead meal once put together you can allow to cool then store covered in the fridge and give it the final cooking in a hot oven for a little longer until piping hot within.

The aubergine are usually fried in quite a bit of oil as they are like sponges and it seems no matter how much oil they get they will drink this up and require more it is for this reason I use a non-stick pan and coat in very little oil. You can and sometimes I need to add a little more oil between batches. Aubergines are almost always salted to draw out moisture and make them less bitter. I have never found this step necessary. However, I do salt here only because I want to draw out a little of the moisture in them. It is about the only thing that can ruin this dish is having too much moisture and it being a horrible runny mess although, it will taste just fine.

The bechamel sauce needs to be thicker than normal and also contain egg yolks which make it set like a savoury custard. You shouldn’t require any seasoning as the parmesan should add enough. I love breaking through the very thin cheesy crust that forms on the top of this, it brings me great pleasure like cracking through a crème brulee.

I serve this alongside some roasted baby potatoes which I scatter with crumbled feta and thyme/oregano when they have come out of the oven and a simple green salad.