For the minced meat sauce
• 500 grams of beef or veal mince
• ½ can of peeled tomatoes
• 30 ml of dry white wine
• 2 teaspoons of tomato paste
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 teaspoon of ground allspice / piripiri herbs
• pinch of cinnamon
• 3 teaspoons of oregano
• 2 cloves of garlic pressed
• 2 small onions very finely chopped / chopped
For the filling
• 8 medium potatoes
• 2 aubergines
For the béchamel sauce
• 1000 ml of whole milk
• 3 egg yolks
• 50 grams of butter
• 60 grams of flour
• 50 grams of Parmesan / Pecorino (grated)
• 1 large pinch of nutmeg (preferably freshly grated)
• Some extra grated cheese for the top
• 4 baking dishes (ramekins or one square baking dish with a high rim)
• OILBA Organic Olive Oil ILLYRIA GOLD
• Salt and pepper
First make the aromatic minced meat sauce Put a dash of olive oil in a frying pan and put the onions and the bay leaves in the pan to fry the onions soft and glassy in about 10-15 minutes, do not brown. Now add the beef, along with the garlic. Reduce the heat and let the minced meat roll (so do this over low heat to avoid burning your garlic). Once the minced meat is cooked, you can drain it in a sieve to drain the excess fat. Then return the mixture to the pan. Let the bay leaves fry for the time being. Add the tomato paste and fry it for a while. Then add the wine to quench the mixture. Let it all simmer until all the moisture has been absorbed by the minced meat. Now you can add peeled tomatoes along with the oregano, ground allspice and cinnamon. Bring this to a gentle boil until the mixture has a good consistency. Now remove the bay leaves from the mixture and season further with salt and pepper. Make sure the mixture is well flavored, as this will become the seasoning of the moussaka. Set the mixture aside to continue with the rest. Time to get started with the potatoes and aubergines Now peel the potatoes and cut them lengthwise into nice thin slices. Do the same with the eggplants. Prepare a large bowl of salted water. This may simply be cold water. Put the eggplant in the water and let it soak for 15 minutes (this will prevent them from absorbing too much oil during baking). Put a good dash of olive oil in a pan again and let it heat up well. Now fry the potato slices alternately until they are well browned. Because the slices are not too thick, they would all be well pre-cooked. Drain the potato slices on kitchen paper (also dab the top). Now it is the turn of the aubergines. First wash the aubergine slices under the tap to rinse off the salt and dry them well. Add another dash of olive oil to the pan and fry the aubergines alternately brown. You may need to add some oil every now and then. Drain these slices on kitchen paper as well. Make sure the baking dish is well greased and start with a layer (a little less than half) of potatoes on the bottom. Do not do this in a tile-like fashion, but first just fill the bottom like a puzzle, and put some smaller pieces in the holes that form so that it becomes a nice even layer. Now spread the mince on this with a spatula and press it well. Now put all the aubergine slices on top and make sure everything is well covered. You close all this with another layer of potatoes. Press everything gently so that the béchamel sauce can be placed on top.
Now we are going to prepare the béchamel sauce. Start making a roux. Start melting the butter in a high saucepan. Once the butter has melted, add the flour. Let this bubble for a few minutes so that the flower can cook.
Heat the milk briefly (do not let it boil). Now pour a good dash of milk into the butter / flour mixture. Stir this well so that any lumps are gone. Let it boil for a while and it should bind a bit.
Once it has bound a bit, add the rest of the milk and let it boil for a while so that it gets the thickness of a nice sauce (lobes) and the flour is well absorbed. Once it has the right consistency, remove the pan from the heat and beat in the egg yolks.
Finally, stir in the grated cheese and grate in some nutmeg. I often add a good pinch of cinnamon for an extra kick.
Pour the béchamel sauce over the moussaka and finally grate some cheese over it so that you get a nice golden brown crust later.
Bake the moussaka at 180 ° for about 40 - 45 minutes until the top is a nice golden brown. Let it take a breath outside the oven.
Kali orexi, eat tasty!