Explore the rich and aromatic flavors of Greece with our delicious Greek Moussaka recipe. Traditionally made with ground lamb, we've given this classic dish a twist by using tender lamb stew meat. Layered with eggplant, creamy béchamel sauce, and a savory meat filling, this hearty casserole is a true Mediterranean delight. Join us on a culinary journey to Greece with our moussaka recipe.
For the Meat Filling:
- 2 pounds lamb stew meat, cut or minced into small cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 cup red wine (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Eggplant Layers:
- 2 large eggplants, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices
- Salt for sprinkling
For the Béchamel Sauce:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Moussaka Recipe Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Place the eggplant slices on a baking sheet and sprinkle them generously with salt. Let them sit for 30 minutes to draw out excess moisture. Rinse the slices thoroughly and pat them dry.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the lamb stew meat and brown on all sides until well-seared. Remove the meat from the skillet and set aside.
- In the same skillet, add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Sauté until the onion becomes translucent and fragrant.
- Return the seared lamb stew meat to the skillet. Stir in the dried oregano, dried thyme, ground cinnamon, and ground cumin. Cook for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
- Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and red wine (if using). Stir well to combine all the ingredients. Simmer for about 20-25 minutes, or until the meat is tender and the flavors have melded together. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Meanwhile, prepare the béchamel sauce. In a separate saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, until well combined. Gradually whisk in the milk, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
- Remove the béchamel sauce from heat. Allow it to cool slightly, then whisk in the beaten eggs until the sauce is smooth and well blended.
- To assemble the moussaka, layer half of the eggplant slices on the bottom of a greased baking dish. Spoon the lamb stew meat filling evenly over the eggplant. Layer the remaining eggplant slices on top of the meat filling.
- Pour the béchamel sauce over the layered eggplant and meat. Smooth the sauce evenly with a spatula.
- Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and bubbly.
- Remove the moussaka from the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together and makes it easier to slice and serve.
Serve our moussaka recipe warm, garnished with a sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley. Enjoy the combination of tender lamb stew meat, flavorful spices, and creamy béchamel sauce in every bite.
- For an extra layer of flavor, sprinkle grated Parmesan or crumbled feta cheese on top of the béchamel sauce before baking. This adds a delightful cheesy note to the dish.
With its layers of succulent lamb stew meat, tender eggplant, and creamy béchamel sauce, Greek Moussaka is a timeless Mediterranean favorite. This hearty casserole showcases the vibrant flavors of Greece and is perfect for special occasions or family gatherings. Elevate your culinary repertoire by trying our moussaka recipe and experience the taste of Greece right in your own kitchen.