Total Time:
3 hr 15 min
15 min
3 hr

15 to 18 servings

  • 4 large eggplants
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 4 onions, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 28 -ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 pounds ground lamb
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons butter, plus extra for baking
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups scalded milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 10 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Prick eggplants several times with a fork. On a large baking sheet, roast eggplants in 400 degree oven until soft, 35 to 45 minutes, turning frequently to prevent charring. Cool and slice eggplants into 1/2-inch pieces. In a saute pan heat 1/4 cup olive oil and brown eggplant slices, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt.

  • Prepare tomato sauce: In a saucepan heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat, add 1 chopped onion and 2 chopped garlic cloves and saute until tender. Add tomatoes and their liquid, squeezing them with your hands into coarse chunks. Add parsley, pepper, oregano, cinnamon and vinegar. Bring tomato sauce to a boil, reduce heat to simmering and cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 25 minutes.

  • Yield: About 3 1/2 cups sauce.

  • Prepare lamb: Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil with onions and garlic over medium-high heat; saute until tender, 5 minutes. Add lamb and brown well, breaking up pieces with a wooden spoon. Add wine, bring to a boil and cook until wine has nearly evaporated. Season meat with salt, pepper and nutmeg and stir in 1/2 cup tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 1 hour.

  • Prepare bechamel: In a saucepan melt butter over medium-low heat and gradually whisk in flour. Cook 1 minute, whisking constantly, but do not let roux brown. Slowly whisk in warm milk. Bring sauce to a slow boil, whisking constantly, reduce heat to barely simmering and cook 25 minutes, stirring frequently, until smooth and thickened. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Let cool slightly. In a bowl beat eggs and whisk in spoonful of sauce to warm. Whisk in remaining sauce in a thin stream and adjust seasoning, if needed.

  • Assemble moussaka: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large baking dish (18x8x3-inches) sprinkle 2 tablespoons bread crumbs and cover evenly with half of eggplant. Drain as much oil from meat mixture as possible and spread over eggplant; top with half of Parmesan, then with half of remaining bread crumbs. Layer remaining eggplant, then bechamel sauce, remaining Parmesan and remaining bread crumbs in even layers. Dot top generously with butter. Bake 45 minutes until bubbly and top is well-browned. If necessary, brown top briefly under a preheated broiler. Cool slightly and cut into 3-inch squares to serve. Serve with extra tomato sauce, if desired.

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