Moussaka

I got this recipe from my Greek friend, Giorgos, although it comes out different to what I had in Vathy on the island of Ithaki, Greece in September 2007.

Note that quantities, where given, are only approximate, and are dependent on taste.

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 1 aubergine, sliced lengthways
  • a few potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • mince, lamb or beef
  • garlic, chopped
  • semolina (fine if possible)
  • milk
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tin of tomatoes
  • a teaspoon or so of dried oregano
  • red wine (optional)
  • 1 wedge of Edam cheese (not very Greek, I know, but apparently this – or Gouda – is the best cheese for the job), grated

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6/200 degrees C.
  2. Lightly fry the aubergine in a little olive oil. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Lightly fry the potatoes. Add a little of the tin of tomatoes and cook for a little while, then set aside.
  4. Brown the lamb mince with the garlic.
  5. Add the rest of the tin of tomatoes, the oregano and grind in some pepper or add a few whole peppercorns.
  6. Add the red wine, if using.
  7. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Check the seasoning and adjust as necessary.
  8. Make up the semolina with milk to quite a runny consistency, take off the heat, and stir in the grated cheese. The semolina will thicken on the additon of the cheese, which will go stringy if left on the heat.
  9. To a loaf tin, terrine or similar, add a layer of the potato.
  10. Add a layer of the aubergine.
  11. Add an optional layer of cheesy semolina.
  12. Fill nearly to the top with the mince mixture.
  13. Finish with a layer of cheesy semolina.
  14. Cook in the oven for about 20 – 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the sauce is bubbling up at the edges.

Notes

For best results, leave in the tin for a while to cool before serving to help it set. Thanks to Alex Galani for this tip.

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