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Moussaka My Way

on March 26, 2015

I hadn’t made moussaka for years, but a pound of ground lamb and a cold snowy day was enough to make it happen.

You can find many versions of this classic Greek dish, and mine borrowed from several. You can make it spicy or not, and a bit more of one spice or another makes the dish have greater or lesser depth of flavor. So don’t hesitate to make your own tweeks to this recipe. The photo is of Bobby Flay’s version. Mine looked just like it!

Serves 6

1 pound of ground lamb ( or beef, turkey, pork)

1 small onion

2 Tbs coconut oil &/or bacon fat

salt & pepper

1-2 cloves garlic (or 1-2 tsp minced)

1/2 tsp dried chili pepper flakes

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp allspice or nutmeg or mace

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp oregano

4 Tbs tomato paste

15 oz can chopped tomatoes

Optional: 1 T raisins or dried currants (they add a lot of flavor)

1 medium eggplant, sliced or diced. I soaked the 1/4 inch slices in salt water for a couple hours. Then dried and oiled the slices and roasted at 375F for 25 minutes.)You could just toss the eggplant in with the meat mixture for a quicker version.

Saute the meat in the oil/fat, add diced onions and after they have softened, add the remaining ingredients. Layer eggplant and meat in a 9×9 inch or similar casserole dish.

Make the Béchamel Sauce: (This makes a nice 1/2 inch thick topping on the meat that is both attractive, and delicious.)

4 T butter (I used salted)

1 cup of 1/2 &1/2, or my choice: half cream, half coconut milk (or use water with cream)

1 bay leaf

1/4 tsp nutmeg

3 egg yolks

1/2 cup goat cheese (crumbled feta works well)

1/2 cup grated parmesan chees

Opt: 1 tsp lemon zest

1 tsp Thickener of choice like guar gum or glucomannan or Thickitup

Melt the butter and add the cream mixture (medium high heat), then add in the beaten egg yolk, whisking well; add in the remaining ingredients, and continue to whisk well until begins to thicken a bit. Allow the mixture to cool a few minutes, remove bay leaf, then pour over the meat-eggplant mixture. Bake at 350F for 35-45 minutes, or until nicely browned on top.  Cool a bit before serving.

Just writing this recipe makes me want to go to the kitchen and make it again!

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