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© 2016 Simon Majumdar

All Rights Reserved

Skillet Moussaka

Skillet Moussaka

 

My cast iron skillet is in almost perpetual use in my kitchen and this recipe for classic Greek moussaka (meat sauce layered with pan fried egg plant and topped with a cheesy white sauce) is one that I am sure you will want to try again and again.

Simon Majumdar's Skillet Moussaka Recipe

Skillet Moussaka Recipe

 

Ingredients

 

For the Meat Sauce

  • 2lbs of ground meat (traditionally, the Greeks would use lamb, but you could also use beef, pork or ground turkey)

  • 3 Carrots (Peeled and Diced)

  • 1 Large White Onion (Diced)

  • 3 Cloves of Garlic (Minced)

  • 3 Cups of Chicken Stock (Or water)

  • ½ Cup Tomato Paste

  • ¼ Cup Fresh Oregano (Chopped)

  • ¼ Cup Fresh Rosemary (Chopped)

  • ¼ Cup Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley (Chopped)

  • 1 Tsp Salt

  • 1 Tsp Ground Black Pepper

  • Cooking Oil

 

For the Topping

  • 2 Large Eggplant (Cut Lengthwise into ⅛in Slices)

  • 1 Cup of Grape Tomatoes (Cut in half lengthwise)

  • 1 Cup Shredded Cheese

  • Olive Oil for Frying

     

For the White Sauce

  • ¼ Cup AP Flour

  • ½ Stick Unsalted Butter

  • 2 Cups Milk (Cold)

  • ¼ Cup Shredded Cheese

  • 1 Pinch Salt

  • 1 Pinch Pepper

  • 1 Pinch Nutmeg

 

 

 

Instructions

 

For the Meat Sauce (can be done well in advance - even the day before)

  1. Heat a large frying pan and cook all of the ground meat until it is completely brown. You may need to do this in batches.

  2. Place the ground meat in a colander over a bowl to drain off the excess fat.

  3. In the same pan that you browned the meat, heat up two tablespoons of cooking oil and add the garlic.

  4. Cook the garlic on a gentle heat, stirring so it does not burn.

  5. Add the chopped onions and cook for around three minutes until they are soft and golden.

  6. Add the diced carrots and cook for a further three minutes.

  7. Season with a little salt and pepper and stir in the tomato paste.

  8. Add the ground meat and combine well with the mixture.

  9. Add the chicken stock.

  10. Add the Oregano and the Rosemary.

  11. Cook over a gentle heat until the liquid has reduced to about ¼ of its original amount.

  12. Add the chopped parsley, remove from the heat and allow the meat sauce to cool.

 

For the Eggplant (can be done well in advance - even the day before)

  1. Place the eggplant slices on a baking tray and sprinkle with salt.

  2. Leave for one hour until they begin to release all their liquids. This will stop them soaking up so much oil when you cook them and will also make them less bitter.

  3. Dry the eggplant slices off with kitchen towel and fry each slice in a little olive oil until each side is golden brown.

  4. Place the slices on kitchen towel until you are ready to use them.

     

For the White Sauce 

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan.

  2. Add the flour and combine well with a wooden spoon.

  3. Cook the flour butter mixture over a gentle heat until it loses its raw smell (about one minute)

  4. Add ⅓ of the milk (it’s good to make sure this is really cold as it prevents the sauce from going lumpy) and use a whisk to combine well with the flour butter mixture. If it becomes too thick, you can do this off the heat.

  5. Add the next ⅓ cold milk and repeat.

  6. Add the final ⅓ cold milk and repeat, stirring until the sauce becomes thick.

  7. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg.

  8. Add the shredded cheese and stir until it is melted.

 

To Build the Moussaka

  1. Grease the inside of your skillet with a little butter or oil.

  2. Place one layer of eggplant slices on the bottom of the skillet and season with a little salt & pepper.

  3. Add a thick layer of the meat sauce and press it with the back of a large spoon so it is level.

  4. Layer the halved grape tomatoes on top of the meat sauce.

  5. Place one more layer of eggplant slices on top of the meat sauce and tomatoes and season with a little salt & pepper.

  6. Pour the white sauce over the layer of eggplant and use the back of a spoon to make sure that the entire surface is covered.

  7. Sprinkle the top of the skillet with the shredded cheese and give it a good crack of black pepper (the cheese will be salty so you do not need to add more salt)

  8. Place the skillet on a baking tray (to catch any possible drips) and cook in a 350oF oven for 45 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbly.

  9. You may want to use the broiler to really brown the top of the moussaka, just be careful to make sure that it does not burn.

  10. Serve this with a simple cucumber and tomato salad and a glass of good red wine.