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Moussaka with fill pastry crown

Traditional Greek moussaka is a roasted eggplant casserole with a hearty meat sauce, topped with a layer of creamy bechamel.



Beef and lamb ragu

  • 2 tablepoons olive oil
  • 500 g ground beef
  • 500 g ground lamb
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic
  • 1 can (155 ml) tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 3 tablespoons parsley
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Eggplant, zucchini & potatoes

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized eggplant, sliced into coins
  • 3 medium-sized Yukon gold potatoes, sliced into coins
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano

Bechamel sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup sagnaki cheese
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Assemble and Serve

  • 10 to 12 phyllo sheets
  • 1/2 cup butter


Beef and lamb ragu

  1. In a large Dutch oven heated to medium-high, add the olive oil and heat ( about 30 seconds); add the ground lamb and beef while browning, and break them apart with a whisk or wooden spoon. Once browned, add in the onion, garlic, and sauté (about 1-2 minutes). Nest add all the spices and bay leaf and stir to combine. Deglaze the pot with the red wine and reduce it by half. Add the tomato paste and cook it out (about 2 minutes). Add the beef stock, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook the meat mix until it is thick and very little liquid is left. Reserve for moussaka.

Eggplant, zucchini, potatoes

  1. Add the vegetables, potatoes, all seasonings and oil in a large mixing bowl. Toss to combine. Heat a grill pan to medium-high heat. Grill all veg and potatoes evenly with marks on both sides. The veg and potatoes should be 80% cooked off the grill pan. Place vegetables on a baking tray lined with a kitchen towel and reserve it for moussaka.

Bechamel sauce 

  1. In a medium-sized sauce pot on medium heat, melt the butter, add the flour and mix to make a roux. In stages, add the milk and whisk to combine; once all the milk is in, reduce the temperature and season with salt and nutmeg. Cook mixture out ( about 2-3 minutes). Remove the béchamel from the heat and finish with the cheese and the egg yolk. Place a plastic wrap touching the béchamel to prevent a crust from forming. Reserve warm for plating.

Assemble and Serve 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F in a 9-inch spring form pan. Build a base of filo pastry on the bottom of the pan and the sides, brushing the filo lightly with butter as you make. When finished, the pan should have a wall and a solid base of buttered filo pastry. Note: allow some pie to “ruffle” out of the top of the pan, resembling the peaks of a crown, starting with the potatoes evenly shingles to cover the entire bottom of the pastry. 
  2. Next, add the meat ragu and press it with the back of a spoon to set it in the ragu. Next, cover the top of the ragu with the zucchini and eggplant; if you need to cut the vegetables to fit the corners evenly, do so. Press down again with the back of a spoon to make a tight, even surface. Pour on the béchamel and smooth out evenly. Place the moussaka crown on a baking sheet and bake in the oven until the béchamel has set and the filo pastry is crisp (about 30 minutes). Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before cutting. Enjoy. 

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