This moussaka has an Australian-Italian influence, and is adapted from my mother's recipe. I've added hot Italian salami and eggplant schnitzel, and used minced beef as a nod to the Aussie meat pie.
- 60 ml (¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil
- ½ hot Italian salami
- 1 medium brown onion, finely chopped
- 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
- ½ bay leaf
- ¼ tsp rigani (dried Greek oregano)
- 400 g premium lean minced beef
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 500 ml (2 cups) Italian tomato passata
- 1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 large eggplant
- sea salt, for sprinkling
- 500 g plain flour
- 3 eggs
- 2 tbsp milk
- ½ cup grated parmesan
- 350 g dried breadcrumbs
- olive oil, for shallow-frying
- 70 g salted butter
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 2 tbsp self-raising flour
- ½ litre full-cream milk
- 1 nutmeg, grated to taste
- ½ cup ground kefalograviera, plus extra for top
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Draining time: 20 minutes
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
For the eggplant schnitzel, slice the eggplant lengthways into 5 mm-thick slices, place in a colander, salt well and set aside to drain for 20 minutes while you prepare the meat sauce.
When ready, rinse the eggplant in water and pat very dry with paper towel.
Place the flour with a little salt in a freezer bag. In a large shallow bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk and a pinch of salt. Place the breadcrumbs and parmesan in a large shallow bowl and mix well. Place them in a row on a workbench.
Place 4 pieces of eggplant in the plastic bag with the flour and shake to coat well. Remove from the bag, shaking off the excess flour. Dip in the eggwash and press into the breadcrumbs.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until hot. Add the crumbed eggplant and fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes each side. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Discard the oil and wipe out the pan. Repeat with the remaining eggplant.
For the meat sauce, cook the sausage in a small frying pan over medium heat until cooked, then halve lengthways and cut into 5 mm-thick slices.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat and cook the onion until translucent. Add the garlic, bay leaf and oregano and season with pepper. Increase the heat to high, add the mince, breaking it up with spoon, and cook for 3 minutes or until browned.
Add the sausage to the pan, along with the tomato paste and passata, reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for 2 minutes, then remove the lid and simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in ⅔ of the parsley.
For the béchamel, heat the butter in saucepan over medium heat and when it starts to sizzle, add the flours and stirring for 2 minutes or until starting to brown. Add the milk while whisking thoroughly. Grate in little nutmeg. Keep whisking for 4 minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken. Add the cheese and stir to combine for 1 minute. It should be a thick creamy texture that thickly coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat.
Arrange the eggplant to cover the base of a small baking dish (at least 10 cm deep), then spoon over a layer of mea sauce. Repeat layering, finishing with the béchamel.
Bake for 25 minutes, then remove and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
Cut into slices and garnish with the remaining parsley to serve.
This recipe is from The Chefs' Line - a brand new series airing weeknights at 6pm on SBS. Can the passion of a home cook beat the skills of a professional chef? Missed all the action? Catch-up online and get all the recipes #TheChefsLine.
This recipe has been edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the series.