Word of caution: Attempt ONLY when you have time.
Onion- 1 large, finely chopped
Garlic- 4 cloves, peeled and finely chopped
Minced beef- 450 gms
Cinnamon powder- 1/4 tsp
Oregano- 1/2 tbsp, dried
Allspice- 1/4 tsp
Bay leaf- 1
Thyme leaves- 1/2 tsp, dried
Tinned, chopped tomatoes- 1, 400 gm tin
Pepper- to taste
Salt- to taste
Bechamel sauce (topping)
Butter- 45 gms, unsalted
Plain flour- 45 gms
Parmesan cheese- 45 gms
Gruyère cheese- 50 gms, grated
Egg yolks- 2
Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onions for about 10 minutes on medium heat. The onions should turn soft, but not brown.
Add garlic and sauté for a couple more minutes.
Into this add the mince meat and break it up, while mixing it into the sauteed onions.
Stir in the cinnamon, oregano, allspice, thyme and bay leaves followed by chopped tomatoes. Stir it all together till well combined.
De-glaze the pan with white wine, season with enough salt and pepper and cover and cook for another 15 minutes or so on medium heat, till the meat is cooked and the mix is thick.
Once the sauce is ready, cover and keep aside
While the meat is being cooked, you can deal with the aubergines.
Preheat oven to 200C
Rinse the aubergines in a colander and pat dry with a kitchen towel.
Toss with some olive oil and line on 2 baking trays, trying not to overlap.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or till the slices turn a light brown.
Take off heat and slowly whisk in the milk.
Return pan to heat and continue stirring till the sauce thickens.
Simmer for a further 5 minutes on low heat and then remove from heat.
Stir in around 30 gms of parmesan and gruyere cheese, season with salt and pepper and keep aside to cool lightly.
Once cool, whisk in the egg yolks till no trace is visible.
Once all the preparation is done, you can assemble the moussaka.
Into a large baking casserole/ dish generously spread a third of the mince.
Cover with aubergine slices, overlapping each other.
Repeat the layers, ending with a final layer of the mince.
Finally pour over the bechamel sauce, sprinkle both the remaining cheese and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or till it bubbling and golden on top.
Take the casserole out of the oven, leave aside to settle for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Bechamel sauce can be made a day or 2 ahead and refrigerated in an air tight container
Try and serve it with a refreshing salad or some bread, to cut through the grease and cream.
Traditionally Moussaka is made with lamb mince but I'm not a big lamb fan, hence used minced beef. Feel free to replace the beef with lamb mince.