Moussaka is one of the traditional meals in Greece. It is a dish that needs time and patience to make, so is normally reserved for close friends and loved ones. Poh & Co. 2
- 2 large eggplants, cut lengthways into 5 mm-thick slices
- 2 large zucchinis, cut lengthways into 5 mm-thick slices
- 2 potatoes, cut lengthways into 5 mm-thick slices
- olive oil, for cooking
- 2 white onions, finely chopped
- 1.2 kg mince (a combination of turkey, pork and chicken)
- 2 tomatoes, peeled and crushed
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 spring onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup curly parsley, finely chopped
- ½ cup mint, finely chopped
- sea salt and black pepper
- 40 g butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 75 g (½ cup) self-raising flour
- 850 ml litre milk
- ½ tsp grated or ground nutmeg
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 35g (⅓ cup) parmesan, finely grated
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.
Rinse the eggplant, zucchini and potato in cold water, then pat dry.
Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over low–medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 6–8 minutes or until translucent. Add the mince to the pan, stirring to break up any clumps, then cook for 8–10 minutes or until browned all over. Add the tomato, tomato paste, spring onion, parsley and mint and stir to combine, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 25 minutes or until thickened.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil for shallow frying in a frying pan over medium heat. Working in batches, cook the eggplant for 2–3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel and set aside to drain. Cook the zucchini for 2–3 minutes on each or until golden brown, then transfer to a plate lined with paper towel and set aside to drain. Cook the potato for 3–4 minutes on each side or until golden brown, then transfer to a plate lined with paper towel and set aside to drain.
To make the sauce, heat the milk in a heavy-based saucepan over medium until it is almost boiling. Melt the butter with the oil in a separate heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, then stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes or until combined to form a paste. Gradually add the hot milk, stirring continuously with a whisk or large metal spoon to prevent lumps forming, until all the milk is incorporated and the mixture is thick and smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly. Add the nutmeg, then whisk in the egg until well combined.
Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
Place all the meat mixture in a 3.75 litre baking dish, then layer with the eggplant, zucchini and potato. Top evenly with the sauce and sprinkle with grated cheese. Place the baking dish on a baking tray to catch any overflowing juices, then bake for 45 minutes–1 hour or until golden and bubbling.
Cut into slices and serve.
• If you only need to serve 8, half quantities above.
Photography, styling and food preparation by china squirrel.
Poh & Co. 2 Thursdays 8.30pm on SBS.
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