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“This recipe is a combination of Barbara Heller's Moussaka and one from Delia Smith, plus a few of my own touches. I've specified minced lamb, but I rarely have it in my freezer and, although it's not authentic, minced beef will do just fine. Put aside a whole morning to make this and consider making double the recipe and freezing half. It's a lot of work, so worth making a lot.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Prepare Eggplant:
  2. First, peel eggplant and cut into 6mm (1/4") slices. (You can leave the peel on if you wish, or compromise and peel off alternate strips giving a striped effect.).
  3. Sprinkle both sides of eggplant slices with salt and place into a colander.
  4. Place colander over a saucepan or bowl, put a plate on top of the eggplant in the colander, and weigh it down by placing some cans of food on top. Leave for about an hour so that excess liquid drains from the eggplant.
  5. Prepare Tomato Sauce:
  6. In the meantime, make tomato sauce. Place 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and place over medium heat.
  7. Cook onion and garlic until transparent.
  8. Add canned tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, cinnamon, sugar, parsley, pepper and salt (sparingly).
  9. Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  10. Prepare Topping:
  11. Next, prepare the topping. In a medium saucepan, combine cold milk, flour, chopped butter, nutmeg, bay leaf and seasoning. Be careful not to add too much salt, as you'll be adding cheese later. Place over a medium heat and whisk frequently with a balloon whisk until butter melts and sauce begins to simmer. Simmer for a few minutes until sauce is thickened and shiny.
  12. Remove from heat and remove bay leaf.
  13. Whisk in ricotta cheese, then set aside to cool. You will finish the topping later.
  14. Prepare Meat:
  15. Now, add a little oil to a frying pan and cook minced meat, adding a little salt, but being careful not to over season.
  16. When meat is nearly cooked, fold in mint. If there is excess oil in the pan, put a plate over the meat and pour off excess oil, before adding tomato sauce.
  17. When tomato sauce is nice and thick, fold it into the meat, then simmer meat in its sauce for about 20 minutes.
  18. Finish Eggplant:
  19. At this stage, set your oven to 180C (350F) so it will be ready for the assembled moussaka.
  20. Then, remove eggplant slices from colander and gently squeeze out any excess moisture.
  21. Dredge eggplant slices in flour, then fry in oil on both sides until golden brown (you may have to do this in batches).
  22. When cooked, place slices onto a plate lined with kitchen paper to soak up excess oil.
  23. Finish Topping:
  24. Now whisk beaten egg and 3 tablespoons of the parmesan cheese into the topping.
  25. Assemble Dish:
  26. Butter a pyrex dish or similar. Place half the meat and sauce mixture into the dish, then top with half the fried eggplant. Add the rest of the meat, and then add the rest of the eggplant. Now, pour over the topping and sprinkle the top with the remaining 3 tablespoons of grated parmesan.
  27. Place dish on a baking sheet (in case their is some spill over) and place on the centre shelf of the pre-heated moderate oven.
  28. Bake for 50 minutes, but check after 40 minutes. If the top is golden brown and fairly firm to touch at this stage, turn off the oven and let it sit for the remaining 10 minutes.
  29. Remove from oven and rest for 10 minutes before serving.
  30. Traditionally served with a Greek Salad, but we like this accompanied with just steamed carrots, tossed in butter.

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