This moussaka is one of my family’s favourite dishes. While it should serve six average people or provide tasty leftovers for lunch next day, it never does with my brood, who without fail return for seconds to polish it all off in one sitting.
It’s oh-so-easy to prepare, with no need to make up a béchamel sauce. This recipe uses a simple, no-cook cheese sauce made with deliciously creamy Holy Cow organic cottage cheese. With layers of soft, lightly spiced aubergine, savoury lamb mince and creamy cheese, topped off with crunchy panko breadcrumbs, I bet this moussaka becomes one of your family favourites too.
Serves 6 (or 4 depending on appetites / greediness)
2 medium aubergines, cut widthways into 5mm slices
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
400g Well Hung Meat Company organic lamb mince
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp dried oregano
large handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
For the cheese sauce
1 egg yolk
200g Holy Cow organic cottage cheese
pinch of smoked paprika
100g Gruyere cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste
20g panko breadcrumbs
Sprinkle the sliced aubergine with salt and leave in a colander for 30 minutes to ‘sweat’.
Preheat the oven to 200°C / gas mark 6.
Rinse in cold water and pat dry with kitchen towel. Place on a baking sheet and brush both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika and cinnamon. Roast for 10-15 minutes, until slightly browned and tender. Remove and reduce the oven temperature to 180°C / gas mark 4.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan and gently cook the onion for around 10 minutes until soft and translucent.
Increase the temperature, and add the lamb and cook until it starts to brown. Mix in the garlic, and cook for a couple more minutes.
Stir in the Balsamic vinegar, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and oregano. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat and cook gently for around half an hour. Add a little water if it starts to dry out too much. Finally, stir in the chopped parsley.
Meanwhile prepare the cheese sauce. In a large bowl, whisk together the whole egg and egg yolk. Gradually add the milk, whisking all the time. Stir in the cottage cheese, paprika, grated Gruyere, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
To prepare the moussaka, brush a large ovenproof dish with a little olive oil. Arrange a third of the aubergine slices across the bottom and cover with half of the lamb sauce. Cover with another third of the aubergines, followed by the rest of the lamb. Add the remainder of the aubergine, and then pour over the cheese sauce. Finish by sprinkling over the panko breadcrumbs.
Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until the topping is golden brown.
Leave to rest for around 10 minutes before serving with a simple salad, ideally a Greek salad loaded with tangy feta cheese and juicy black olives.
Disclosure: I was supplied with a complimentary samples of lamb from the Well Hung Meat Company and cottage cheese from Holy Cow in order to develop this recipe. As ever all views expressed are mine and only products I genuinely like make it onto my blog.