Greek Beef Mousaka
(Serves 12 - 16)
4 lb eggplant, sliced about 1/4” thick or slightly thicker
2 tsp salt
3 fl.oz. olive oil
1 fl.oz. olive oil
2 white or yellow onion, diced
6 garlic cloves , minced
2.5 lbs. ground beef or lamb (lamb is traditional)
1 cup dry red wine
28 oz crushed tomatoes
6 T tomato paste
2 cups beef broth/stock
2 beef bouillon cubes, crumbled
3 bay leaves
3 tsp. white granulated sugar
4 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp cinnamon (or 1 stick, use whole)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
8 T Unsalted Butter
10 T AP Flour
5 cups whole milk, warmed
1/2 tsp. nutmeg, freshly grated
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 egg yolks
2 1/2 tsp. chicken stock powder
1/2 tsp. pepper
2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
Place eggplant slightly overlapping in a large colander. Sprinkle with some salt. Repeat with remaining eggplant.
Leave to sweat for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make Meat Sauce and Béchamel Sauce.
Preheat oven to 450 F.
Pat eggplant dry - make sure to do this well, otherwise it's too salty. Lay on parchment paper lined trays (you might need several trays, work in batches), brush with oil.
Bake 15 - 20 minutes or until lightly browned and softened. Remove and set aside to cool slightly.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet or pot over high heat, then cook the garlic and onion for 2 minutes.
Add the beef or lamb and cook until it changes from pink to brown, breaking it up as you go.
Add wine, cook for 1.5 minutes or until alcohol smell is gone.
Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, then lower heat to medium low and cook for 15 minutes, or until reduced to a thick sauce.
Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Add flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Stirring constantly, slowly add the warmed milk. Then stir regularly for 3 to 5 minutes or until it thickens so that it thickly coats the back of a wooden spoon.
Remove from the heat and whisk in cheese, nutmeg, chicken stock powder and pepper.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then whisk the eggs in. Cover with lid until required.
Lower oven to 350 F.
Place half the eggplant in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish (or 2 large 9” cast iron skillets), then top with all the Filling. (You may need 2-9 x 13 baking dishes)
Top with remaining eggplant, then pour over the Béchamel Sauce, sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
Bake for 30 - 40 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.