Yes I know this isn’t a dessert of some kind or sweet in any way but hear me out! See you’re reading this already aren’t you haha.
I stumbled across a recipe when I was browsing videos on YouTube. It was a Jamie Oliver video by some guy (who I now know is Akis Petretzikis) I’ve never seen or heard before was apparently making a ‘Lamb Moussaka’. Watching the short video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_GcsR7Q99s (I say short but its 8 mins long), I found the actual method so easy – so I gave it ago.
You need just over 1 hour cooking time (altogether).
- 500g Minced Lamb
- 2 Potatoes
- 1 Aubergine
- 1 Courgette
- 2 Onions (Red – if you have it)
- 1 Garlic clove
- 1 Chopped tomatoes tin (or alternatively 4 tomatoes skinned and chopped)
- Olive oil (or vegetable oil)
- 2 egg yolks
- 100g Butter
- 100g All purpose flour
- ~700ml milk
- 500g Parmesan cheese (or just use cheddar)
- Tomato puree (2 tbsp)
- Spices: Ground Cinnamon, Ground nutmeg (if you have it)
- Herbs: Rosemary
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 200C or 390F or Gas Mark 6
Step 2: Cut 1 onion into circular slices and cut the potatoes into thin slices. Put in a bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary then coat well. Place evenly spread at the bottom of a baking tray – cook for 20 mins
Step 3: Cut the aubergine and courgette into thin slices, coat again with the salt, pepper, olive oil and rosemary mix and place above the potatoes in the baking tray – cook again for 20 mins
Step 4: Dice the remaining onion and the garlic clove then fry gently in a pan, add a tsp of ground cinnamon and 2 tbsp tomato puree until it browns slightly. Once that’s done, add the mince lamb seasoning gently with salt and pepper and cook through until done (about 7-8 mins). Now add the chopped tomatoes and simmer for 5 mins.
Step 5: Making the Bechamel sauce – place 100g butter in a pan. When it begins to melt, add the 100g flour until combined. Then, on a low heat, add some milk and stir constantly. You’ll see the milk get incorporated which means you need to add more – do this until it becomes smooth. Add 2 egg yolks, pepper, a pinch of nutmeg and 100g cheese then stir again until combined.
Step 6: Add roughly a third of the Bechamel sauce into the mince and combine well – place this on top the aubergine/courgette layer and spread evenly.
Step 7: Spread the remaining Bechamel sauce on top and scatter the cheese above – bake again for 25-30 mins.
Let the moussaka cool thoroughly before serving!
Notes: You can make this vegetarian by substituting the mince for mushrooms or you can make a basic version if you don’t have some of the ingredients – it’s all good. I didn’t have any courgettes in the fridge for my first attempt so I did it without! Just as long as you make sure to cook the potatoes well which need more time than you’d think to cook well, the rest of the method can be played around with.
Bechamel sauce (also known as white sauce) is used in loads of different recipes and again can be tinkered with to your own preferences. There’s a load of videos on how to make them online such as https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOPb95Wo3H4 (Gordon Ramsay trying to help Johnny Vegas through it – if you’ve got time).
Have a go, take out what you don’t like, add what you do like and have fun!