Thursday, 23 May 2013

Open Moussaka

We had some nasu dengaku earlier in the week, but weren't hungry enough to eat the entire massive aubergine. Tonight I had a strong craving for the flavours of moussaka, but didn't want to leave the oven on for an hour and a half during peak electricity cost, nor wait that long to eat dinner. So I tried out a somewhat crazy idea: making all the bits of a moussaka but skipping the fattiest parts and the long baking time. It actually worked really really well! The only thing that made it difficult was that grilling the topping at the end makes the plate too hot to handle!


...and it gets harder to take an attractive photo ;)
  • half a large aubergine
  • three potatoes
  • one medium onion
  • 300g lamb mince
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 glass of red wine
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • one tomato
  • a small handful of parsley
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 150ml milk
  • a bay leaf or two
  • 1/2 slice of bread
  • a small handful of grated cheddar

Slice the aubergine lengthwise into four, brush with oil and BBQ or grill for 4-5 minutes each side, until caramelised and tender. Scrub and cube the potatoes, then set boiling, and drain and mash when done.

Finely chop the onion and fry for five minutes, then crush in the garlic and add the lamb, and fry until the lamb goes brown, about 4 minutes. Finely chop the parsley and tomato and add, along with the wine, tomato puree, cinnamon and allspice. Stir and season, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until thickened and tasty.

Meanwhile, melt the butter, combine with the flour and gently whisk in the milk; drop in the bay leaves and microwave for 4-5 minutes, stirring every minute, until thickened. Blend the bread into breadcrumbs and combine with the grated cheese.

Assemble the moussaka by spreading a layer of mashed potato onto the bottom of the plate, then topping with the lamb mixture. Pour half of the white sauce onto the lamb mixture, add the cooked slices of aubergine, then top with the remaining white sauce. Sprinkle over the cheese and breadcrumbs. Grill for 1-2 minutes, until the breadcumbs are golden and the cheese has just melted.

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