I don't even know how to being describing how amazing moussaka is. I have had this Saveur recipe bookmarked for months, and somehow my boyfriend got to it first. He made this superb Greek dish for his family, I got the leftovers and it blew me away. We devoured that tupperware filled with spicy, fragrant ground meat, eggplant, potatoes and a creamy sauce topped with crisped cheese. We are both the kind of people that never repeat a recipe, we always like to try something new. But I have been pushing to repeat this one for a good long while now. So a dinner party was formed and we tripled this already huge recipe to feed a large room full of our friends. Next time, to be fair, I have to chop the six onions required to make this dish so delicious. Tears are so worth it people. Layers upon layers of delicious. The thin potato and eggplant slices hide in the most delicious meat sauce ever. Great quantities of onion, garlic and red peppers combined with tomatoes, cinnamon, allspice, cayenne and ginger make some serious magic happen. Top the whole thing with a béchamel sauce enhanced with Greek yogurt and topped with cheese. Yup topped off with cheese. It is ridiculously tasty. We even topped the leftovers with a fried egg and ate it for breakfast.Moussaka adapted from Saveur
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound ground lamb (or ground beef)
1 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, finely chopped
1 cup red wine
1 28-oz. diced tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 cups canola oil
1 1/2 pounds eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/4"-thick slices
1 large russet potato (about 1 pound) cut into 1/4"-thick slices
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup flour
2 1/4 cups milk
Nutmeg, to taste
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
3 egg yolks
1 cup grated Parmesan
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the lamb, cayenne, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and salt and pepper and cook, stirring to break up the meat, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer lamb to a large strainer set over a bowl and strain. Discard any liquid left in the pot.
2. Return the pot to the heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil along with the garlic, onions and bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes.
3. Add the wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost evaporated, 10-15 minutes.
4. Add the canned tomatoes, and lamb, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and set meat sauce aside.
5. Heat the canola oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add teh potatoe slices and cook until tender, about 6 minutes. Transfer to paper towels.
6. Working in batches, add the eggplant slices and fry, until tender about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to paper towels.
7. Make a béchamel sauce. Melt butter in a medium-large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, until pale and smooth, 2 minutes. Whisking constantly, add the milk in a steady steam until incorporated. Whisk often, until sauce is thick and reduced to about 2 cups. About 12 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Let sauce cool for 5 minutes.
8. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt and egg yolks and whisk into sauce until smooth.
9. Heat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
10. Assemble. Place the fried potato slices at the bottom of an oval 3-qt baking dish (or a 9x13 baking dish) and season with salt and pepper. Put eggplant slices on top, season with salt and pepper and then cover with the meat sauce. Pour the béchamel over the top of the meat sauce and spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle Parmesan evenly over the top and bake until browned and bubbly, 30-35 minutes. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.