Rick Stein From Venice to Istanbul Moussaka recipe
Recipe of the month is from Rick’s latest adventures From Venice to Istanbul. Here’s the delicious moussaka recipe he discovered in Greece.
“I jumped at the chance of visiting his house in Kardamyli.
I spoke to his housekeeper, Elpida, who agreed to cook me the moussaka loved by the great man.
She fries everything separately first, including the potatoes, which don’t always come as part of a moussaka. Put in the base of the dish, the potatoes act like a sponge, soaking up all the meat juices released during cooking. ”
1 aubergine, sliced lengthways
3 courgettes, sliced lengthways
About 300ml olive oil
2 large potatoes, peeled and sliced lengthways
2 small onions, chopped
10g/2 cloves garlic, chopped
750g minced beef
3 beefsteak tomatoes, chopped
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
12 turns black peppermill
For the béchamel
100g plain flour
750ml full-fat milk
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
150g graviera cheese (or Gruyère if unavailable), freshly grated
Begin by salting the aubergine and courgette slices and leaving them for about 30 minutes, then rinse and dry on kitchen paper.
Fry in plenty of the olive oil over a medium heat until lightly browned and starting to soften, then drain on kitchen paper and set aside.
Fry the potatoes in the same way.
In a separate pan, heat 70ml of the olive oil and fry the onions and garlic for 5 minutes until softened.
Add the minced beef and brown it before adding the tomatoes,cinnamon stick, bay leaf, ₁½ teapoons salt and the pepper.
Simmer for 30–40 minutes.
When done, remove the cinnamon and bay leaf.
In a deep ovenproof dish, about 24cm x 35cm, arrange the potatoes in a layer.
Top with a third of the beef, then the aubergine, another third of the beef, the courgettes, and finish with the remaining beef.
Heat the oven to 220°C/gas 7.
Make the béchamel sauce: melt the butter in a saucepan over a gentle heat, stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes so it loses its raw taste.
Slowly incorporate the milk, and continue stirring until the sauce thickens.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the eggs,nutmeg and 100g of the grated cheese.
Spread the béchamel over the layered meat and vegetables and top with a further 50g grated cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes, then take out and leave to cool.
The dish is also very good the following day.