Easy Moussakka | Eggplant Meat Casserole
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 large aubergine
  • 1 large potato
  • ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • FOR MEAT LAYER:
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, pounded
  • 350 gm minced beef
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp paprika powder
  • 2 large tomatoes, minced
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ tsp dried parsley
  • FOR BECHAMEL SAUCE:
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 heaped tbsp flour
  • 1½ cup milk
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Slice up the aubergine into thin roundrels. Keep them in a colander, sprinkle salt over it and leave it undisturbed for 15 minutes. This will help the aubergine ooze out excess liquid. Wash and pat dry.
  2. Slice up the potatoes and cook in boiling salted water for around 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add in the aubergines and fry both sides for a couple of minutes. Drain and set aside.
  4. In the same oil, add the bay leaf, onion, garlic and meat and start breaking it down. Cook for around five minutes.
  5. Add in the powders and give a good mix.
  6. Now add the tomato and tomato paste along with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally till the tomatoes are mashed up and the meat is all cooked. Ensure that the mixture is dry (refer notes). Switch off and set aside.
  7. In another saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and fry for a couple of minutes.
  8. Add in the milk and whisk till smooth. Cook till the sauce turns thick.
  9. Add salt and pepper as required and switch off. Whisk in the egg.
  10. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
  11. Oil a deep tray. Layer the bottom with the fried aubergines and then top with the boiled potatoes.
  12. Spread the meat mixture on top of this. Finally top with the bechamel sauce. Level the top and sprinkle the parmesan cheese all over.
  13. Bake for 25 minutest ill the top looks done.
  14. Serve hot with a side of salad and soup of choice.
Notes
The meat mixture has to be dry. Or else while baking it will bubble and will not hold shape when you cut - experienced this! If there is too much oil, then drain the meat before layering. Some flavors may be lost.
The potatoes are optional. You may see that some recipes use cabbage. You could try layering with sauteed cabbage too.
You can use meat of your choice for the meat layer.
Recipe by The Big Sweet Tooth at https://www.thebigsweettooth.com/easy-moussakka-eggplant-meat-casserole/