Greek meets Australia in this version of moussaka. Instead of using minced lamb, I layer the eggplant with slices or rosemary-and-garlic-studded roasted lamb.
- 2 medium eggplant, cut into 1.5 cm-thick rounds
- sea salt, for sprinkling
- olive oil, for cooking
- 2 x 750 g lamb rump roasts
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 sprig rosemary, leaves picked (plus extra to garnish)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small brown onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 12 ripe Roma tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeds removed, puréed
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- ¼ cup organic tomato paste
- 1 cup dry red wine, cabernet
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp chilli sauce, hot habanero sauce
- 1 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp butter
- 6-8 tbsp plain flour
- 500 ml (2 cups) full-cream milk
- 150 g hard mozzarella, grated
- ¼ cup grated kefalograviera (or similar hard, sharp, salty cheese)
- ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
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.
Resting time: 20 minutes
For the eggplant, sprinkle eggplant rounds with salt and leave for 30 minutes to extract the bitter juices. Rinse the salt from the eggplant and pat dry with paper towel. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over medium heat and sauté eggplant for 2 minutes each side until softened and slightly browned. Set aside and keep warm.
For the lamb, preheat the oven to 150ºC. Place a baking dish drizzled with a little olive oil in the oven to warm. Make incisions all over the meat side of each lamb rump with a sharp knife and insert the garlic and rosemary. Generously sprinkle all over with salt and black pepper, and smear with olive oil.
Heat some oil in a heavy-based frying pan over high heat and cook the lamb, fat-side down, for 3 minutes, then turn over and brown the remaining sides.
Transfer lamb to baking dish, fat-side down, and roast for 40-45 minutes, turning after 25 minutes.
Remove from oven and rest for 20 minutes.
For the sauce, heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and sauté the onion for 3 minutes.
Add the garlic and sauté for 3 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add the remaining ingredients, in order, stirring after each to combine. Bring to the boil and simmer until the sauce is reduced and thickened.
For the béchamel, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add enough flour to make a fairly dry, clumpy sand-looking mixture. Remove from the heat and slowly add the milk, whisking briskly to remove any lumps. Return to the heat and cook until well thickened. Stir in the cheeses, nutmeg and a good grind of pepper. Allow to cool. The béchamel should be quite thick.
To serve, cut each lamb rump, across the grain, into 6 slices. On each serving plate, starting at one edge, layer the eggplant and lamb alternately in an overlapping patter. Cover the eggplant and lamb almost entirely with the sauce. Spoon over a stripe of béchamel over the sauce and garnish with rosemary.
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.