Food is central to the agenda of many families. It is a moment when you can discuss the day together after a busy day and then enjoy the food. Families also come together for birthdays or special days to enjoy the food. Eating is not the main purpose of the meeting, but it does strengthen it. Large family meals are ideal at the time. Family meals are known in Greece. And no, this time it is not Loukoumades, Saganaki, Souvlaki or Tzatziki. I’m talking about the incredibly popular dish Moussaka. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how to make Moussaka.
What is the definition of Moussaka
The meaning of Moussaka is:
”Moussaka is a Greek dish with aubergine, potato and minced meat sauce. The dish has different layers like a lasagne. At the top of the dish is a layer of béchamel sauce”.
History Greek Moussaka
The dish has different names including moussakas, musaca, musakka, mycaka, musaka, musaqq’a. It is therefore a traditional dish where the base consists of potato or eggplant and minced meat. The inventor of the dish was a Greek cook by the name of Tselementes. This cook has written a cookbook in which the dish Moussaka also received a mention.
The dish looks like a Lasagne. It also has a sauce on the top. This can be a bechamel sauce or a layer of egg. The layer of egg ensures the dish for getting a golden brown color. The dish is called Mussaka in Turkey. Fried eggplant is used and meat. The dish is served warm or at room temperature. In Arab countries there is also the possibility that the dish is served cold. If I could choose, I would prefer the warm dish. I am a big believer in only warm dishes! But that is my home chef opinion.
In Eastern Europe they do not use egg plant, but potato. The top layer is also slightly different. For example, there is no layer of egg or bechamel sauce. They use a yogurt mix or milk. In Balkan countries, the top layer is always custard. You can even add grated cheese or breadcrumbs to the top. This way you see that every country or even region has its own view on a dish. That makes cooking so much fun, the dishes are always taken to the next level!
Ingredients for Moussaka
To make this main dish you need the following ingredients:
Basic: eggplant, vegetable oil
Meat: Beef, onions, garlic, tomatoes, sugar, red wine, olive oil, salt, pepper and bay leaf, oregano
Sauce: Milk, Butter, Flour, Egg Yolks, Cheese.
You can find the recipe below or watch our video!
- Cooking Pan
- Large pan
- 5 Egg plants
- Vegetable Oil
- 600 grams Lamb mince
- 3 Red Onions
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 2 Tomato
- 150 ml Red Wine
- 8 gram Sugar
- 2 Bay Leaf
- 50 ml Olive oil
- 800 ml Milk
- 120 gram Unsalted Butter
- 120 gram Flour
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 110 gram Parmigiano Reggiano
- The first step is to cut the eggplant into slices. You want to have thin ice hockey pucks. Make sure they are not too thick. Depending on what you like yourself. How thicker the slice how longer you need for frying.
- Take a kitchen paper and get the moisture off the slices. Sprinkle the slices generously with salt en pepper.
- Put the pan on the gas on medium heat and fill the pan with oil. Make sure the pan is hot enough. You can test this by sliding a slice into the pan. Watch how quickly the eggplant turns brown. If the slices turns golden brown within 2 minutes, the oil is hot enough! Place the slices in the oil.
- When the Eggplant slices have a nice brown color, they are ready. Take the Eggplant out and put it on kitchen paper to remove the oil.
- The second part of this dish is the meat sauce. Grab a pan and put in the olive oil. Put the pan on medium heat.
- Cut the onion in nice dishes and add them to the pan. Bake them until softened.
- When the color is start changing to brown add the garlic en tomato. Stir everything together.
- Add the red wine, sugar, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Stir everything together and bring to a boil.
- When the sauce is boiling put it on a low heat for a minimum of 20 minutes.
- The last step is to make the bechamel sauce. Grab two pans: the first pan is for the butter. Put in the butter. Start melting the butter. Fill the second pan with milk. The milk needs to be warm, not boiling.
- When the butter is melted add the flour. Keep on stirring.
- Add the milk slowly to the flour in different portions. Keep on stirring. When all the milk is added turn off the gas.
- Wait for 5 minutes. The last step is to add the grated cheese, salt, pepper and egg yolks. Stir everything fast together.
- Preheat the oven at 200 celcius.
- Take a baking dish. I recommend to use a 20 * 30 cm. If you have a smaller or larger one it is also an option. You just need to see how it turns out with the layers. Start the first layer with egg plant. The second layer all the meat sauce. Third layer egg plant. Put the bechamel sauce on top.
- Add the grated cheese / breadcrumbs on top and bake the moussaka for 40 - 45 minutes. The crust needs to be golden brown. So if it takes longer than 45 minutes, no problem!
- After 45 minutes take the Moussaka out of the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes enjoy your dish!
Below you can find the most frequently asked questions:
What is Moussaka?
Moussaka is a Greek dish with aubergine, potato and minced meat sauce. On top there is a béchamel sauce.
Which ingredients do I need?
You need the following ingredients: Eggplant, Vegetable oil, Beef, Onions, Garlic, Tomatoes, Sugar, Red Wine, Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper, Bay Leaf, Oregano, Milk, Butter, Flour, Egg Yolks and Cheese.
Is the dish served warm or cold?
It depends on the country your from. Arabic countries can serve the dish cold. Normally the dish is served warm or at room temperature.
Do I need to rest the dish after the oven?
Yes. Wait for 15 minutes so you can cut a good slice for everyone!