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Lamb Moussaka

lamb moussaka

lamb moussaka

It’s idealistic to believe that a family will sit down to dinner and share a nutritionally balanced meal with lively conversation each and every night of the week. The demands of modern life and the mobility of kids and partners means that more frequently, dinner is eaten in shifts.

My husband is a lousy cook and his only interest in food is eating so when either of us has a late afternoon or evening commitments it falls to me to get myself organised and prepare a dish that can be made in individual serves and will not suffer being held over and/or reheated. In summer it’s always a salad, but the cooler months are upon us I prefer to have a more substantial dish, something warming. 

We’re all over the place at meal times this week, so long neglected moussaka was my dinner of choice. It fell below the radar because our eating habits changed enormously when we relocated to Brisbane, oven baked food took a step backward but it’s good to revisit the moreish flavours of savoury lamb mince, grilled eggplant, zucchini and cheesy bechamel, all melded together.

Constructed and baked entirely the day before, this moussaka suffers no degradation in flavour quality or enjoyment after being reheated in the microwave. A crisp green salad dressed simply with extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice was the perfect accompaniment.

I’ve based this recipe on Maggie’s Beer’s Lamb Moussaka recipe from “Maggie’s Kitchen.” I’ve embellished it with extra vegetables recommended by my friend Paula in her moussaka recipe and made a few minor adjustments to suit my diet and pantry. 

You’ll find a delicious vegetable moussaka recipe on my blog too. I posted that quite a while ago.

Lamb Moussaka serves 4-6

1 tablespoons of olive oil 

500g minced lamb

2 teaspoons garlic infused oil

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/2 cup stock, I used homemade vegetable

1 cup tomato puree

2 teaspoons dried thyme

finely grated zest of a lemon

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large eggplants, cut into 1.5cm slices

2 medium zucchinis cut into 1.5 cm slices

2 medium sized waxy potatoes cut into 1.5cm slices and steamed.

béchamel:

50g unsalted butter

50g plain flour

1 cup of full cream milk, heated

1 cup chicken stock, heated

pinch freshly ground nutmeg

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

crust:

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon dried lemon thyme

Preheat the oven to 180C. Lightly oil 4 large ovenproof ramekins of 2 cup capacity.

Heat a saute pan, add the olive oil then crumble the lamb mince into the pan. Add the ground cinnamon and tomato paste then saute the lamb until golden. Pour off any excess fat.

Add the garlic infused oil, tomato puree, stock and lemon thyme .

Bring the pan to a high simmer and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the lemon zest and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

Char grill the sliced eggplant and zucchini slices.

Cover the base of each ramekin with potato then add a few spoons of meat sauce.

Lay the eggplant slices on top and spoon over a little more sauce. Put the zucchini slices on top then cover with remaining sauce. Set the ramekins aside.

to make the béchamel: 

Melt the butter then add the flour. Cook stirring continuously for 3-4 minutes or until he flour smells toasty.

Slowly add the milk and stock stirring continuously. 

Keep stirring until the sauce has thickened and comes to the boil. 

Cook for a couple of minutes then stir in the nutmeg, parmesan cheese and seasonings to taste.

Spoon the béchamel over the top of the layered meat and veg

to make the crust:

Combine all the ingredients together in a small bowl then scatter on top of the béchamel. The ramekins can be chilled until need then baked for 40 minutes until the sauce is bubbly and the crust golden then served immediately

Alternatively the moussaka can be baked immediately after it’s prepared then chilled and gently heated in the microwave when needed.

About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

27 comments on “Lamb Moussaka

  1. Tracey O'Brien
    May 30, 2018

    Great recipe, Sandra. Absolutely love moussaka and, like you, we are also heading into the colder months in NZ so comfy and warming food is just the ticket. Delicious.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mae
    May 26, 2018

    Moussaka is a great idea — I haven’t had it in years and years. I can see how you would especially like it in your cooling fall weather now; since we are at the opposite end of the earth, we’ll have to wait a couple of seasons for it to be most appealing.

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 26, 2018

      It had been quite a while here since I’d made moussaka, it was delicious, put it on your list…

      Like

  3. sbaskitchen
    May 25, 2018

    Great post – thank you for reminding me how much I love Moussaka.

    Like

  4. Francesca
    May 25, 2018

    Nothing better in winter than a good Moussaka. this one looks delicious.

    Like

  5. chefkreso
    May 25, 2018

    I’ll be making this recipe for the weekend, hope my family loves it! 😀

    Like

  6. Conor Bofin
    May 25, 2018

    My better half is similarly inclined. That is she is not inclined towards the kitchen at all. That facilitates my cookery and allows me experiment as much as I like.
    Lovely moussaka too. I must try one.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 25, 2018

      No complaints from me about the non-cook. Thankfully his pockets are deep enough to treat me to great nights off. I sure you could create THE perfect moussaka.

      Like

  7. chef mimi
    May 24, 2018

    Beautiful. One of my favorite hearty dishes. And I just love cinnamon in tomato sauce!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 25, 2018

      Cinnamon in Moussaka is an essential IMHO. The flavour is elusive in the dish but it adds a great depth of flavour

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Sherry
    May 24, 2018

    nothing more heartwarming on a cold night than a big savoury dish like this. having had moussaka in greece which had potato in it, i can only really warm to it when it does have a nice thick potato layer. here comes winter; here comes stews and soups. yaay. cheers S

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 25, 2018

      Thanks Sherry, this is a particularly good version. Impeccable sources

      Like

  9. Linda Duffin
    May 24, 2018

    Looks and sounds delicious, Sandra. I ate moussaka once years ago in a Cypriot monastery (long story) which also had potato layered in. It was so good!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 25, 2018

      Thanks Linda. I like the potato inclusion, breaks up the meatiness nicely. My friend who inspired me has a Greek MIL

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Ron
    May 24, 2018

    Lamb Moussaka is truly a gift from the gods. Often cooked here and we’re always looking for different recipes. Your crust sounds excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ladyredspecs
      May 25, 2018

      Thanks Ron. I can’t take the credit for the crust but the light béchamel made with 1/2 stock and the crunch top both added to the enjoyment

      Like

  11. Gather and Graze
    May 24, 2018

    Oh this is lovely Sandra… and just what we’ll be needing over the months to come. I’ve never made Moussaka before, but very much look forward to doing so!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ardys
    May 24, 2018

    I love your honesty about your husband’s interest in cooking. The truth is the truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. katechiconi
    May 24, 2018

    Yup, I’ll be putting eggplants on the shopping list again. Do you think I could substitute cornflour for the béchamel, I’m not allowed wheat flour (yet)? Also, are your eggplant and zucchini slices horizontal, along the veg, or across, to make rounds?

    Liked by 1 person

    • ladyredspecs
      May 24, 2018

      Kate click through to the link for the Veg Moussaka there’s a GF béchamel recipe which is brilliant, just sub some of the milk with stock and only make about 2/3 of the quantity. I cut the zucchini diagonally, the eggplant horizontal

      Like

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