Moussaka – Eggplant Casserole

Moussaka is an iconic Greek casserole – much like lasagna is to Italian cuisine. Our take on this Mediterranean classic is mostly authentic with some delicious twists. We layer roasted Japanese eggplant with a juicy meat sauce, creamy heirloom potatoes, and a decadent cheese sauce. Don’t be dissuaded by the multiple components. This recipe is well worth the effort!

Mediterranean cuisine
Medium
SERVING: 2 People
TIME: 1 hr 20 min
COOKING TIME: 1 hr
INGREDIENTS:
  • Roasted Eggplant
  • 2 small Japanese eggplant
  • 3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 ea. Garlic gloves, peeled
  • 4 ea. Thyme sprigs
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Black pepper
  • Boiled Potatoes
  • 4 cup Water
  • 1 cup Heirloom Peewee Potato
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 4 Thyme sprigs
  • Cheese Sauce
  • 4 tbsp Butter (clarified)
  • 4 tbsp All-purpose Flour
  • cup Whole milk
  • ¼ large Onion, peeled
  • 2 ea. Garlic Clove, peeled and whole
  • 1 ea. Bay leaves
  • 1 pinch Nutmeg
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Black pepper
  • cup Mozzarella cheese
  • cup Pecorino Romano
  • Meat Sauce
  • 1 large Celery stalk
  • 1 large Carrot, peeled
  • large Onion, peeled
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 lb. Ground beef
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black pepper
  • 1 ea. Serrano chili, chopped
  • 2 cups Red wine
  • 2 tbsp Sherry
  • 1 tsp Saffron
  • 4 Thyme sprigs
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 cup Blended tomato
  • 1 cup Beef stock
  • ¼ cup Chopped parsley
  • Toppings
  • tsp Salt
  • tsp Pepper
  • ¼ cup Feta Cheese
  • ¼ cup Pecorino Romano
  • Garnish
  • 1 tsp Chopped Chive
DIRECTIONS:
Roast the eggplant - Step 1
Roast the eggplant - Step 1
Roast the eggplant - Step 1
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the eggplant lengthwise into ½-inch thick slices. Coat a baking tray with some olive oil. Add the smashed garlic and thyme. Lay the eggplant slices on top (cut side down). Drizzle with some more olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
Step 2
Step 2
Step 2
Roast in the oven until eggplant is golden brown on top, about 15 minutes. Remove eggplant from oven, and set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F.
Boil the potatoes: Step 3
Boil the potatoes: Step 3
Boil the potatoes: Step 3
In a medium pot, add the water, potatoes, salt, and thyme. Bring it to simmer, and cook until potatoes are just tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
Make the cheese sauce: Step 4
Make the cheese sauce: Step 4
Make the cheese sauce: Step 4
In a medium pot, cook the butter and flour on low heat. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching.
Step 5
Step 5
Step 5
Once mixture is light brown in color and smells slightly nutty, slowly whisk in the milk along with the onion, garlic cloves, bay leaf, and nutmeg. Whisking often, cook the sauce on low for five minutes.
Step 6
Step 6
Step 6
Remove garlic cloves, bay leaf, and onion from pot. Add the salt and pepper.
Step 7
Step 7
Step 7
Remove from heat, and add the cheeses, and whisk until melted. Cover pot to keep sauce warm.
Make the beef sauce: Step 8
Make the beef sauce: Step 8
Make the beef sauce: Step 8
Finely dice the celery, carrot, and onion. Set them aside. In a large skillet, sear the ground meat over high heat. Use a wooden spoon or whisk to break apart the meat.
Step 9
Step 9
Step 9
Once the beef has browned, add the celery, carrot, onion, and chopped serrano. Cook until the vegetables have softened, about 3 minutes.
Step 10
Step 10
Step 10
Add the red wine, sherry, saffron, thyme, and bay leaf. Cook for a few minutes to reduce the sauce. Stir in the blended tomato and beef stock, and cook until sauce reduces and thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in the chopped parsley.
Assemble casserole: Step 11
Assemble casserole: Step 11
Assemble casserole: Step 11
Cut the potatoes in half. Transfer cheese sauce to a piping bag with a ½-inch opening. In a 9x13-inch casserole dish, layer the components in this order: meat sauce, eggplant, cheese sauce, and potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat this step, making sure the last layer is the cheese sauce.
Step 12
Step 12
Step 12
Top with the feta cheese and pecorino romano.
Step 13
Step 13
Step 13
Bake at 375°F/190°C for 45 minutes or until cheese sauce is bubbly and casserole is golden brown on top.
Step 14
Step 14
Step 14
Garish casserole with chopped chives, and serve.
Step 15
Step 15
Step 15
Enjoy!