MOUSSAKA

INGREDIENTS

2 large brinjals

FOR THE MEAT SAUCE

500g beef mince
olive oil
1 box crushed tomatoes
125ml red wine
Himilayan salt to taste
1 tbls ground Ceylon cinnamon
1 red onion finely chopped
2 tbls freshly chopped garlic
3 bay leaves
ground black pepper
a little sweetener of choice

BECHAMEL SAUCE

250ml pouring cream
125g cream cheese
1 tsp nutmeg
2 egg yolks
5ml Himilayan salt
½ cup finely grated kefalotyri cheese and a ½ cup for the top once assembled

METHOD

Slice the brinjals lengthwise into 1cm thick slices. Sprinkle each slice with salt and leave in a colander for 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with cold water and leave to drain for a few minutes.

Start preparing the meat sauce by sautéing the onion and garlic in a little olive oil. Add the mince and once it has changed colour, mash it with a masher to get it fine and rid of any lumps. Add the salt, pepper, sweetener, cinnamon and bay leaves. Mix well. Sauté for a further few minutes. Add the wine and when it has almost evaporated, add the box of crushed tomatoes. Freshly grated tomatoes can be used but then you must add some tomato paste too. Mix well and allow to simmer for at least 40 minutes. In the meantime, brown the brinjal slices a few at a time with olive oil in a pan.

To make the bechamel sauce, warm up the cream and cream cheese gradually in a saucepan. Whisk to a smooth consistency and add the nutmeg and grated cheese. Continue whisking until the cheese has melted. If the bechamel is a little thick, add a little more pouring cream and whisk. Only add the egg yolks once the sauce has cooled slightly and just before assembling the moussaka.

Once everything is ready, grease an oblong ovenproof dish and begin with a layer of brinjals. Remove the bay leaves from the mince. Add a layer of meat sauce and another layer of brinjals. Then another layer of meat sauce and finish with a layer of brinjals. Pour over the bechamel sauce evenly. Sprinkle with the kefalotyri cheese and bake on 190° C until the top is golden brown. Leave the moussaka to stand for a good few hours before cutting it.

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