This makes a great appetizer or an excellent side dish. You can cook Greek food at home, this is a dish you will find in any Greek restaurant.
- 2 eggplants (about 2 3/4 pounds), unpeeled and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 3 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups whole, peeled, canned tomatoes (with puree), roughly chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoons ground nutmeg
- 1 egg
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons Pecorino Romano (I used freshly grated Parmesan)
Bake the Eggplant
- Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Brush the eggplant slices on both sides with the oil and lay on 2 small or 1 large foil-lined baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake until the eggplant is soft about 25 minutes. Set aside covered.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the beef, oregano, allspice, cloves, and cinnamon. Break the meat up into small pieces and season with the 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring, until just cooked but still slightly pink inside, about 1 minute more. Add the tomato and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Cover, and cook until the sauce is thickened and fragrant about 20 minutes.
Make the sauce
- Make the custard sauce. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and add the milk, salt, and nutmeg. Return to the heat and while whisking constantly, bring to a boil. Simmer 2 minutes.
- Transfer the sauce to a bowl and stir to cool. When the sauce is cool, whisk in the egg and yolks. Assemble the moussaka. Lower the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush a 9 x 13 x 2-inch casserole dish with the oil. Scatter the breadcrumbs over the bottom of the pan. Lay half of the eggplant in the pan, overlapping the slices if needed.
- Cover with half of the meat sauce and smooth with a rubber spatula. Repeat with the remaining eggplant and meat sauce. Pour the custard sauce over the layered mixture and smooth with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle with the Pecorino Romano and bake, uncovered, until lightly browned and the custard is set, about 1 hour. Remove the moussaka from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon or spatula to serve.