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August 9, 2023

Greek Moussaka

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Prep Time

30 min

Cook Time

3 hrs

Total Time

3 HRS 30 min

Servings

6

Greek Moussaka in a cast iron serving dish

Ingredients

Meat Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3/4 pound ground American Lamb
  • 3/4 pound ground beef (80/20)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 stick cinnamon 

Béchamel

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten 

Eggplant

  • 2 medium eggplants, thinly sliced into 1/4-inch slices
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste 

Assembly

  • 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyère
  • 1 teaspoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

Directions

For the Meat Sauce: Heat a large pot over medium heat; add oil and heat through. Add onion; sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 6 minutes. Add garlic; continue to cook for an additional minute. Add lamb and ground beef; cook, stirring occasionally, until browned. Stir in tomato paste; add wine, cooking until wine is almost completely evaporated. Add tomatoes, bay leaves and cinnamon stick; stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens and liquid has evaporated, about 30 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaves and cinnamon sticks. Remove from heat; cover. 

For the Béchamel: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add butter, allow to melt. Add flour, stirring to combine; let cook about 1 minute, to cook the flour taste off. Add milk; bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low; continue to cook until sauce has slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Add cinnamon and nutmeg, stirring to combine. Stir in Parmesan and salt until completely combined; remove the pot from heat, let cool for 5 minutes. Add the mixture to a blender with the eggs; puree until completely combined. Add back to the pot; set aside. 

For the Eggplant: Lay eggplant out on sheets of paper towels; sprinkle with salt to drain for 30 minutes. Toss eggplant in oil; arrange in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Season with pepper. Bake at 400 degrees F until golden brown and tender, about 30 to 40 minutes. 

To assemble: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes; cook until barely tender, about 10 minutes. Drain; transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Drain; set aside.  

Spread 1 cup béchamel on the bottom of a 10-inch x 14-inch baking dish. Evenly arrange potatoes over the top; spread meat sauce over potatoes. Arrange eggplant in an even layer on meat sauce; spread the remaining béchamel over the top. Sprinkle with Gruyère cheese; bake at 375 degrees F until golden brown, about 1 hour. 

Garnish with parsley; cut into squares to serve.

USDA recommends the following time and temperature parameters

Ground Lamb

Internal temperature of 160°F

All Other Cuts

Internal temperature of 145°F, with a 3 minute rest

Raw ground American Lamb on butcher paper
Greek Moussaka in a serving dish
thermometer timer illustration
Visit our Lamb Cooking Time & Temperature page for recipe inspiration and tips on preparing the perfect lamb.
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