Moussaka

Discussion in 'Recipes' started by chrisbelgium, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    Moussaka

    This recipe is from Mrs. Calombaris, the Greek mother of Georges Calombaris, judge in Masterchef Australia. In one of the Masterclasses of the 2011 contest, Georges let his mom make this divine moussaka. Best ever, no dought!!

    1. Potatoes; peel and cut them in thin slices. Heat a pan with 2 cm of oil. Rinse and dry the potato slices first before frying them. Let them get a nice color but do not fry them completely "done", they have to go in the oven for another 45 minutes! Take the ones that are done out of the pan and replace with another slice until all potato slices are done. Put the cooked slices on paper towel to absorb the frying oil. Set aside.

    2. Aubergines (eggplant); cut some of the peel off from top to toe, but not all of it, so they look like striped (optional imo). Cut in thin slices. Put in a colander and sprinkle each layer with a little salt. In 15 minutes time, the aubergines will "bleed" some bitter moist. Do not rinse, but put on paper towel to remove that bitter moist. Similar to the potatoes, fry in a pan in a lot of oil in the same systematic way. Also, do not fry them completely done, they still need to go in the oven. Add oil to the pan as needed. Same procedure as the potatoes; put on paper towel to get rid of an excess of oil.

    3. Meatsauce; very similar to a bolognaise, but this sauce must be much more compact -let's say dryer- than bolognaise and cooks for only half an hour, no more. According to Mrs. Calombaris; don't start with frying onion or the whole preparation will have too much onion taste (she's right!!), but start with frying equal parts of minced meats; lamb, pork and beef. I use only pork and beef if lamb is not available. Panfry the meat until nicely crumbly, only then add chopped onion and garlic. Mrs. Calombaris insisted to add 3 herbs... or it's not a moussaka; a tbsp of oregano, tbsp of thyme and tbsp of rosemary. Then add passata and let cook for 30 minutes. s&p. Set aside.

    4. Mornay sauce; or in plain language; a béchamel with cheese in it. Make a roux from equal parts butter and flour on low fire. Don't let it color but let this mixture fry for a while, add cold milk in stages and use a whisk to mix well. You need to make quite a thick sauce, so stop adding cold milk when the right consistency is there. Add s&p and nutmegg and a good handfull of cheese. I used Emmenthal and Gruyère, Mrs. Calombaris uses keftalograviera or something sounding like that. She also adds an eggyolk to the sauce, I don't.

    5. Assemble the moussaka; start with a thin layer of meatsauce, then a layer of potato, then meatsauce and finally a layer of aubergine. Repeat these layers. Cover with a thick layer of Mornay sauce and a handful of grated cheese on top. 6. Bake in the oven; put in a preheated oven at 200°C/400°F for 45 minutes. Let cool down a good 5-10 minutes and serve; see how nice it keeps together. Absolutely divine, and all credits to Mrs. Calombaris!

     
    Potato and aubergine slices, fried and put on paper towel to absorb the cooking oil

     
    Making layers of meatsauce, potato, meatsauce and aubergine...

     
    Generous layer of Mornay sauce and baked in the oven
     
    chefnick91 likes this.
  2. chefross

    chefross

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    I like this recipe.

    Mine is a Lebanese variation that doesn't have potatoes.

    The meat sauce is made from lamb only and has cinnamon and allspice as the leading flavors.

    Probably the recipe alludes to the strong flavor of lamb....hence the heavy spices.

    Very nicely done Chris....thanks
     
  3. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    Thank you ChefRoss. I like the idea of using cinnamon in any moussaka, I'm sure it would be a nice addition!
     
  4. yiannisg

    yiannisg

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    I've seen a few moussaka recipes and it's a big divide whether to use or not potatoes in-between the aubergine layers. My personal favorite would be this one http://www.mygreekdish.com/recipe/mousakas/

    As it reminds me of the one my mother used to cook when I was a child :)
     
  5. bobbycooks

    bobbycooks

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    I've made Moussaka just once. I based on this Moussaka recipe and the ready dish was very tasty and nourishing. Since then I began to love this dish and now I'm looking for various recipes for Moussaka to try different variations. Thanks for your one! I'll use it, I think it will be wonderful, tasty dish!
     
  6. skyler

    skyler

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    Chris, this sounds really good.  It's been a while since I made moussaka...a recipe I got from an old friend, Mrs. Panopoulos.  I always made it with lamb and left out the cinnamon in her recipe...just not fond of it in anything savory.  Mrs. Calombaris' oregano, thyme and rosemary sound more my style....sorry, Mrs. P!
     
  7. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    Skyler, I wouldn't hesitate to use cinnamon, but only in minimal quantity, more a pinch or so. I'm sure that would work. Anything more will probably overpower the whole dish.

    Hope you guys will try to make it some day! It's quite some work but the result is so rewarding... and, you can freeze the left-overs.
     
  8. skyler

    skyler

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    Thanks, Chris...it would definitely have to be a scant pinch.  I simply adore Greek food...just not the cinnamon.  Your photos are great and prompt me to make moussaka again.  Love the idea of adding potatoes, too,     
     
  9. happyhelen

    happyhelen

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    I use Lamb, no potatoes, and whisk eggs, cream and cheese together for the topping ....... I think all/any moussaka is delicious!
     
  10. mhatter-1

    mhatter-1

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    This looks soooo good right now, will definitely be preparing this dish very soon!
     
  11. frankopolo

    frankopolo

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    This looks really nice. Thanks for sharing.