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June 30, 2019 5 min read

moussaka

The irresistible Greek crowd pleaser is now healthier!

This easy to follow, step by step moussaka recipe never fails and is guaranteed to have your family and friends asking for seconds.

Traditional moussaka is a rich and decadent dish, usually made by individually frying the eggplant and potatoes in oil before layering. Add to this a rich meat sauce and extra creamy béchamel sauce and you start feeling guilty about it even before the first delicious mouthful. 

The Luvele Kitchen has put a healthier twist on the iconic Greek dish that you are sure to luv! We use a fraction of the oil and take a fraction of the time to make it. We have left in the layers and aromatics but have come up with healthier and simpler ways to build the dish without compromising. We bake the vegetables instead of frying and best of all we crown the dish with an exquisite, yogurt based béchamel style sauce that has an optional, with or without cream, method.

With a Luvele meat grinder in your kitchen you can take complete control of the quality and quantity of the meats you choose; traditionally lamb or a mixture of lamb and beef. To keep it on the lighter side, we opted for all beef using a lean chuck. Whatever you choose, let the sauce simmer for a while on the stove top so the herbs and spices can imbue the meat with their full flavour and aroma.

For a moussaka that complies with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, (SCD) replace the potato layer with a double layer of baked eggplant and use extra homemade 24-hour yogurt or cultured cream in place of pure cream in the sauce.

homemade moussaka

OPTIONAL STEP – SALTING THE EGGPLANT 

Most traditional moussaka recipes insist you salt the eggplant before cooking to draw out bitterness and improve flavour and texture. In my experience, after many years of experimenting, this is an unnecessary and time consuming step that hasn’t ever notably improved a dish. If the eggplants are fresh and firm, you can confidently skip salting.

If you prefer to salt, by all means, please salt away. Simply spread the eggplant slices in one layer on a tray and sprinkle with salt. Leave to sweat for 30 minutes then wash and thoroughly pat dry, otherwise they’ll make your Moussaka too salty. 

moussaka

BEFORE YOU BEGIN

GRINDING THE MEAT

Moussaka mince requires a medium course grind and only one time through the grinder. For a lean meat sauce, cut away any large areas of fat or sinew then chop the meat into 5 cm pieces. Place in the freezer for approximately 30 minutes to make as cold as possible. In the meantime, set up the meat grinder on the bench with the medium (8mm) cutting plate and a bowl or plate under the head. When the meat is ready, turn the grinder on, then use the food pusher to drive the meat through the grinder into a bowl. Cover the meat and leave in the fridge until ready to make the sauce.

HOMEMADE YOGURT

This moussaka recipe uses homemade yogurt made in a Luvele yogurt maker. We used homemade SCD, 24-hour, yogurt made with cow’s milk but goat milk or raw milk yogurt could also be used. Alternatively, if you are not yet making yogurt at home, commercial unsweetened Greek yogurt can be used.  

INGREDIENTS 

VEGETABLE LAYERS
2 large eggplants sliced lengthways - 10 mm thickness

3 large potatoes sliced into rounds (for SCD replace with 2 additional eggplants)
1 tablespoon olive oil + more for brushing the eggplant
¼ teaspoon of dried oregano
½ teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons Greek kefalotyri or parmesan cheese grated

MEAT SAUCE
1 kg of freshly ground lamb or beef or a combination of the two.
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion finely chopped
4 garlic cloves crushed
½ cup (125ml) red wine dry
1 tin (400g) chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons of pure tomato paste
2 teaspoons of coconut sugar, maple syrup or honey
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon of allspice
½ teaspoon salt

YOGURT SAUCE
2 cups homemade yogurt or Greek yogurt
1 cup heavy or double cream, homemade cultured cream or more homemade yogurt
3 egg yolks
½ teaspoon nutmeg freshly grated
1 cup Greek kefalotyri or parmesan cheese grated plus extra to sprinkle on top
Freshly ground cracked pepper

METHOD

VEGETABLES
1.   Preheat oven to 180C/350F. 
2.   Brush the base of the moussaka dish (approx. 32x23 cm/12x9 inch) with olive oil.
3.   Slice the potatoes into rounds.
4.   Put the potatoes into a large bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper to coat.
5.   Lay the seasoned potatoes in the bottom of the moussaka dish.
6.   Place in the oven and roast for 20 minutes then set aside.

making moussaka

7.   Brush 2 large baking trays with olive oil (another tray is needed if you are not using potatoes and wish to only layer with eggplant).
8.   Place the eggplant slices in a single layer on the trays then brush with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with salt.
9.   Bake 15 - 20 minutes or until lightly browned and softened. Set aside to cool slightly.
10.  Meanwhile, start to make the meat sauce.

MEAT SAUCE
11.  Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or skillet.
12.  Sauté the onions on a low heat for 5 minutes or until golden brown and soft.
13.  Add the crushed garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
14.  Add the freshly ground beef or lamb and cook until it changes from pink to brown, breaking it up with a spoon as you go.
15.  Add wine, cook for a few minutes until alcohol smell is gone.
16.  Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

making moussaka at home

17.  Bring to a low simmer, and cook with the lid off for 30 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated.
18.  While the meat is cooking, prepare the yogurt sauce.
19.  When the meat is cooked, remove from the stove and let sit for 10 minutes.
20.  Remove the bay leaves, then add ½ cup of yogurt sauce to the cooked meat sauce and stir to combine.

YOGURT SAUCE
21.  Grate the cheese.
22.  Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until well incorporated.
23.  Set aside in the fridge until assembling the moussaka.

moussaka yogurt bechamel

ASSEMBLE
24.  Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of cheese over the baked potato.
25.  Lay one tray of baked eggplant slices on top of the potato.
26.  Pour the meat sauce over the eggplant layer and spread to sides.

making moussaka

27.  Top with the remaining sliced eggplant, then pour the yogurt sauce on top.
28.  Spread with a spatula to evenly coat.
29.  Sprinkle with a little more cheese then bake for 30 - 40 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.

PIN THIS RECIPE 

homemade moussaka recipe 

 


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