Preparation info

  • Serves

    6

    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

The Times Calendar Cookbook

By Katie Stewart

Published 1977

  • About

Moussaka can be made in advance and left ready for reheating, which makes it a good recipe to prepare for a party. A rich and substantial dish; for most people a green salad is quite sufficient as an accompaniment.

Ingredients

  • 900 g/2 lb aubergines
  • kitchen cooking salt
  • 6–8 tablespoons oil
  • 2 large onions
  • 450 g/1 lb lean lamb, minced
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • freshly milled pepper
  • 2 teaspoons concentrated tomato purée
  • 1.5 dl/½ pint red wine

    Method

    Leave the aubergines unpeeled and slice them. Sprinkle with cooking salt and leave in a colander for about 1 hour to draw the juices, with a plate pressed down on top. Rinse in cold water and pat dry. Fry the aubergine slices in plenty of oil in a large frying pan. Turn to brown them on both sides before removing them from the pan.

    Peel and slice the onions and fry in about 2 tablespoons oil until soft Add the minced lamb and cook gently to brown the meat. Stir in the salt, a seasoning of pepper, the tomato purée and the wine. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook gently for 20–25 minutes.

    Arrange layers of meat mixture and aubergines in an earthenware ovenproof dish, ending with a layer of aubergines. Set aside while preparing the topping.

    Melt the butter over low heat and stir in the flour. Cook gently for a few minutes, then gradually stir in the milk. Bring up to the boil, beating well to get a smooth sauce. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 1–2 minutes. Draw off the heat and beat in the egg – the addition of egg helps to form a topping that remains on the surface of the moussaka.

    Pour the topping over the moussaka. Place in the centre of a moderately hot oven (190°C., 375°F., Gas Mark 5) and cook for 45 minutes-1 hour when the top should be golden brown. Serve hot or cold with salad.