Aussie-Style Moussaka: A Delicious Twist On The Classic

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Moussaka, the layered masterpiece of eggplant, ground meat, and creamy béchamel sauce, is a beloved dish across the globe. But here in Australia, we like to put our own unique spin on things. This recipe takes the classic elements of moussaka and adds a touch of Aussie flair, using readily available ingredients and bursting with fresh flavors.

Ingredients:

Classic moussaka recipe
Classic moussaka recipe

2 large eggplants, thinly sliced

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 500g lean ground beef
  • 1 red capsicum (bell pepper), diced
  • 1 green capsicum (bell pepper), diced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (optional, for a hint of warmth)
  • 400g chopped tomatoes (canned diced tomatoes)
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 50g butter
  • 50g plain flour
  • 1 litre milk
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Instructions:

    1. Prepare the Eggplant: Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Line a baking tray with baking paper. Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer and brush generously with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until softened and lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.

    2. Sauté the Vegetables: Heat another tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the garlic and cook for an additional minute, until fragrant.

    3. Brown the Meat: Increase the heat to medium-high and add the ground beef. Cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until browned all over. Drain any excess fat.

    4. Add Flavor: Add the diced capsicums, tomato paste, oregano, paprika, and cinnamon (if using) to the pan with the browned meat. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, to allow the flavors to meld.

    5. Simmer the Sauce: Pour in the chopped tomatoes and beef stock. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and cook for 20 minutes, or until the sauce thickens slightly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    6. Make the Béchamel Sauce: While the meat sauce simmers, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, to form a roux. Gradually whisk in the milk, a little at a time, until fully incorporated. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the sauce thickens and becomes smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the parmesan cheese.

    7. Assemble the Moussaka: In a large baking dish, spread a thin layer of the meat sauce. Top with a layer of overlapping eggplant slices. Repeat with another layer of meat sauce and eggplant. Pour the béchamel sauce over the top, spreading it evenly.

    8. Bake and Serve: Bake the moussaka for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly. Let cool slightly before serving. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, if desired.

    Nutrition Facts:

    (Per serving, based on 8 servings)

    Calories: 500

  • Fat: 25g
  • Saturated Fat: 12g
  • Cholesterol: 75mg
  • Sodium: 500mg
  • Carbohydrates: 40g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Protein: 30g
  • Please note: These are approximate nutritional values and may vary depending on the ingredients used.

    Conclusion:

    This Aussie moussaka is a hearty and satisfying dish that’s perfect for a family dinner or potluck. The combination of succulent eggplant, flavorful meat sauce, and creamy béchamel is sure to please everyone at the table.

    FAQs:

    1. Can I use a different type of mince (ground meat) in this recipe?

    Absolutely! You can substitute the ground beef with lamb mince, pork mince, or even a combination of different meats.

    2. What if I don’t like eggplant?