Our Sous Chef, Dan, spent a few years living in Cyprus, growing up with his uncle in the R.A.F. This recipe became a staple for his family and brings back lots of wonderful memories. It is a “damn tasty” but simple recipe that serves 4 and will hopefully allow you to make some great memories too.
- 1 kg aubergines or courgettes or a mixture of both, trimmed and sliced lengthways in thick (1cm) slices
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut in 1cm slices.
- ½ cup sunflower oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 500g minced beef, lamb, pork or meat alternative
- 2 large tomatoes, grated, or one 400g tin of tomatoes
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon or 1 stick cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ glass dry red wine
- Grated hard cheese or Halloumi for topping
For the white sauce (béchamel):
- 4 tbsp butter
- 4 heaped tablespoons plain flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 eggs (beaten)
- 1 litre warm semi skimmed milk
- Pre-heat your oven to 180 – 200C
- Sprinkle the aubergine slices with salt and leave to drain for 20 minutes. Dry and coat with a little flour.
- Heat the oil and fry the aubergine, courgette and potato slices, turning them so that they brown but don’t cook through. Leave them to drain on kitchen paper.
- Fry the onions in a little oil until soft, add the meat and stir to break it up.
- Add the tomatoes, herbs, spices, seasoning and wine and continue to cook for about 25 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed.
For the White Sauce (béchamel):
- Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and then add warm milk gradually, whisking briskly to remove any lumps. Add salt and pepper. When it starts to boil, remove the saucepan from the heat but continue stirring for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the beaten eggs, continuing stirring so that the eggs are mixed into the sauce.
To Assemble the Moussaka:
- Use a baking dish. Line the base with slices of potatoes, courgettes and aubergines.
- Spread the minced meat in a layer and cover it with another layer of potatoes, aubergines and courgettes. Cover the top with the white sauce (béchamel) and sprinkle some grated cheese or halloumi on top.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 50 minutes, or until the top is crusty brown.
- Enjoy with a ton of red wine, possibly a Cypriot brandy after. Best had with friends and family which I think is key in the current climate.
All the best, Dan x