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Friday, 13 December 2013

Moussaka - the best recipe ever

No messing around, this really is the best Moussaka you will ever taste. Not too heavy but delectably rich. The trick is to get as much oil as possible out of the aubergines and mince, so drain them really well.

For the mince:
250g Irish mushrooms, sliced
 700g lean mince beef 
4 onions, finely chopped 
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced 
Oxo cube 
Glass of red wine 
3 peppers (the roasted, bottled ones are best), chopped 
Dried thyme 
Bay leaf 
500ml passata 
1-2 tbs tomato purée

For the Bechamel
250ml milk
1 onion, chopped very fine
A good scrape of nutmeg
50g butter

50g plain flour

And then:
100ml cream
4 egg yolks
150g or more of strong cheese, preferably mature cheddar and parmesan
Breadcrumbs, fresh or dried

Plus 2-3 large aubergines sliced 1/2" thick and a lot of good quality vegetable oil.

First the mince:
Fry the mushrooms on medium high till browned and caramelised, about 20 minutes. Put them in a heavy casserole. Dry fry  the mince on a high heat and when cooked through, drain it in a colander while you fry the onion until translucent on a medium heat. Now throw this and all the other mince ingredients into the casserole and bring to the boil, then simmer for an  hour.

Meanwhile, the aubergines:
Fry them in small batches in lots of oil on a medium high heat - they should be a gorgeous dark brown on both sides. As each slice is done, remove it to a colander lined with 4 layers of kitchen paper. When they're all done, get about 4 layers of kitchen paper and press it down on the slices. Let this sit and absorb all the excess oil for a good 20 minutes.

Last, the Bechamel
Just make a plain thick Bechamel, once it's cooked through take it off the heat, let it cool a little and add the cream and egg yolks.

Assemble and cook:
Layer the aubergine first, then mince, aubergine, mince, aubergine, then pour the sauce all over. Finish with 150g of strong cheese then scatter breadcrumbs over the top. Bake at 180oC for 45 mins. Should be delish.

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