Delicious Greek Moussaka (…almost George’s mother’s)

I promise you that you will love this Moussaka. Flavoursome, authentic and oh, so light!  Of course, it is gluten free and has no stodgy Bechamel to weigh you down.  In fact you will find the delicous topping can be used for loads of recipes including Pastitsio, Lasagna or even Cauliflower Cheese.

The basis for my recipe came from George Calombaris which I found online.   I’ve adapted the recipe, but here is the original if you would like to check it out.  George has a different recipe in his book Greek Cookery from the Hellenic Heart.

For those that watch Masterchef, George’s mother’s Moussaka was one of the dishes the contestants had to guess the ingredients for in an elimination test.  It was quite a memorable episode due to the emphasis George placed on repeating over and over “my mother’s mooo-sss-aaa-kaa.”  Very funny.

<<Updated comment, the recipe cooked by Mary on the recent Masterclass differs to the one I used which was based on the elimination test ingredients.  Personally, I prefer the ‘elmination test’ version which I have adapted to the one Mary cooked in the Masterclass.  For me, the addition of roasted capscium and spices create a fantastic depth of flavour>>

This recipe freezes really well, so I’ve made into foil containers that serve two.

INGREDIENTS

500g premium mince
500g free range pork mince
2 brown onions, finely chopped
2 x 400g can Italian tomatoes
1 tblspn tomato paste
2 x medium eggplants, cut into thin slices, lengthwise
2 red capsicums
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
1 cinnamon quill whole (or 1 tsp ground)
1 tblspn Greek oregano (Rigano)
4 garlic cloves finely chopped
2 cardamon pods
2 tblspn fresh sage, chopped
2 whole cloves
2 bayleaves
2 medium potatoes
salt and pepper to taste

Topping
250g marscapone
200g kefalograviera cheese, grated
drizzle of cream

METHOD

1.  Cut eggplant into 5mm thick slices. Sprinkle with table salt and leave for 30mins.  Rinse off salt with cold water and pat dry with a tea-towel to remove moisture.

2. Meanwhile, cut capsicum vertically along each side so you have four pieces.  Grill until blackened. Wrap in foil and leave to steam for 10mins and then remove blackened skin. Roughly chop and set aside.

3. Boil potatoes whole until just cooked and tender.  Use a mandolin or knife to slice into thin as slice as possible.  Alternatively slice raw and pan fry in olive oil until just softened.

4. Fry eggplant in olive oil and set aside on paper towel to drain off excess oil.

5. Heat large oil saucepan over medium heat.  Cook onion and garlic until soft. Add the tomato and chopped capsicum.  Season with salt and sugar and leave for 20mins to simmer.

6. While tomatoes are cooking, cook mince until browned all over. Season with salt, add cumin, cinnamon, cloves, bayleaf, oregano, cardamon and whole cloves.

7. Add mince and the sage to the tomato mixture.  Cook for around 20-30minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. Once cooked removed cinnamon (and whole cloves if you can find them). Check for seasoning.

8. Place a small quantity of mince in the base of the dish.  Add a layer of potato and then a layer of mince.  Repeat with an eggplant layer and another layer of mince.  Finish with a final layer of eggplant.  Press the ingredients firmly into the dish and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.

9. Mix the mascarpone with the half grated cheese and good dollop of cream to thin the mixture.  Spread over an even layer of mascapone/cheese over the top of the Moussaka.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  You may like to finish off with a swirl a little cream on top of the cheese (optional).

10. Bake around 40mins at 180C until cooked through and cheese has lightly browned. If frozen, cook at least 60mins (30mins covered, 30minutes uncovered)

11. Serve with a Greek salad, or a simple green leaf salad with oil and vinegar dressing.

Serves 6-8.

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About Soul Kitchen Blog

Welcome to Soul Kitchen Blog. Sure food ultimately is fuel for the body but made with love is so much more and truly nourishes the soul. As cliche as it sounds, life really is too short to eat bad food and drink bad wine. I have a passion for cooking and a love of good food. I am commtted to my quest of searching for fabulous recipes that just so happen to be gluten free. In recent years I discovered that I have intolerance to gluten and whilst its changed my eating habits somewhat, I refuse to allow it to limit my choices to eat well or make those that I cook for feel that they are missing out on anything. My mandate is simple... Feed the body and nourish the soul. I look forward to sharing my journey with you ........
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