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Greek Moussaka

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450g lean lamb mince
75 ml dry red wine
2 rounded tbsps tomato pulp 
300g sliced onions
2 medium sized aubergines
2 tbsp olive oil
50g diced garlic
1 heaped tbsp chopped fresh mint
1 heaped tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 level tsp ground cinnamon
salt and freshly milled black pepper
 
For the topping:
 
25g butter
1 level tbsp grated cheese
250g ricotta 
275ml whole milk
25g plain flour
¼ whole nutmeg, grated
1 bay leaf
1 large egg
salt and freshly milled black pepper
 
N.B. Items in bold are available from all MF outlets.
 
Remove the stalks of the aubergines leaving the skins on. Cut them into approximately 1½ inch (4 cm) chunks. Then place them in a colander and sprinkle them with salt. Put a plate on top of them and weigh it down with something heavy, then put another plate underneath to catch the juices.
 
Preheat the oven to its highest setting. Squeeze out any of the excess juice from the aubergines with your hands and dry them. Spread them out on the baking sheet, drizzle 1 tbsp of the olive oil over them and toss them around to get a good coating. Place in the oven and roast the aubergines for 30 minutes or until they are tinged brown at the edges.
 
Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the onions and garlic gently for about 5 minutes. Turn the heat up high, add the minced lamb and brown it for a few minutes, turning it and keeping it on the move.
 
Reduce the heat and in a small bowl, mix the mint, parsley, cinnamon, tomato puree and red wine. When they are thoroughly combined, pour them over the meat, season well and cook the whole lot very gently for about 20 minutes, stirring from time to time so it does not catch on the base of the pan.
 
Remove the aubergines from the oven and reduce the temperature to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C). It is a good idea to leave the oven door open to cool it down a bit.
 
Place the milk, flour, butter, nutmeg and bay leaf in a saucepan. Using a balloon whisk, whisk over a medium heat until everything comes up to simmering point. Turn the heat down to its lowest setting and let the sauce cook gently for 5 minutes. Season to taste.
 
Remove the bay leaf, and turn off the heat leaving it cool a little before whisking in the ricotta and egg. Give it a good whisk to blend everything thoroughly.
 
Combine the roasted aubergines with the meat mixture and transfer it all to the baking dish. Then pour the topping over, sprinkle the surface with the cheese and bake on the centre shelf of the oven for 50 minutes, by which time the top will be golden brown. Let it stand for 10 minutes then serve with brown rice or a Greek salad.
 
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