Note: The moussaka can be made up to a day in advance. Proceed with recipe just until the beginning of step 6 before you add the cheese sauce. Cover the partially-constructed casserole with plastic wrap and transfer cheese sauce to a sealed container. Refrigerate both for up to three days until ready to serve. When ready, reheat cheese sauce in microwave or on stove, pour over lamb mixture, and bake according to directions.
- Yield:Serves 8
- Active time: 1 hour
- Total time:1 hour 45 minutes
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped, divided (about 1 cup)
- 1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced into 1 inch slices (about 1 pound)
- 2 russet potatoes, peeled (about 1 pound)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- For the Lamb:
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped (about 2 teaspoons)
- 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/3 cup red wine
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, roughly crushed by hand
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the Cheese Sauce:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 eggs, beaten
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Butter the baking dish and scatter half the chopped onion along bottom. Toss the eggplant slices with salt and place in a colander. Let eggplant sit for 15 minutes, then rinse. Meanwhile, place peeled potato in a saucepan and cover with water, bring to a boil and cook until potato is just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Drain. When cool enough to handle slice into 1/2 inch slices. Place slices in bottom of baking dish.
Brush eggplant slices with olive oil and place on rack on a sheet tray and bake in at 375[°] oven for 15 minutes, or until eggplant begins to brown in spots. Layer eggplant over potato.
Begin lamb sauce while eggplant is roasting. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, when shimmering add remaining onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent, about 7 minutes. Add ground lamb, breaking meat up with a wooden spoon. Add cinnamon, allspice and bay leaf and cook until lamb is no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Add red wine and cook until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Add can of tomatoes and simmer until tomatoes have begun to break down, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
For the Cheese Sauce: In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once butter is fully melted add the flour and cook, stirring constantly until flour just begins to brown. Add milk slowly, whisking constantly until the flour is fully incorporated. Add grated parmesan cheese and cook until mixture just begins to bubble, then remove from heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.
In a bowl whisk together Greek yogurt and beaten egg. Once milk mixture has cooled to room temperature combine milk mixture with egg and yogurt and whisk until fully combined.
Pour lamb mixture evenly over eggplant, then pour the cheese sauce over the lamb mixture. Place in oven and bake until moussaka begins to bubble and brown along the edges, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool ten minutes, then serve, garnished with chopped parsley.