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Thursday 15 September 2011

Sluttishly Easy: Moussaka

Mmmmoussaka. It's not often I find a food I enjoy saying as much as I enjoy eating, but moussaka wins it hands down. It's also the best thing I can think of to do with cinnamon that doesn't involve mulled wine.

Aubergines are beautifully in season this month, and this is a dish that never fails to warm on those chilly autumn evenings. There might be a lot of ingredients on this list but they can be chopped and changed if you have stuff you need using in the cupboard!

Moussaka (makes around eight portions, depending on how hungry you are!)

You will need:

  • 3 large aubergines
  • 2lb lamb mince
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 1 large tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 small tin tomato puree
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 glass red wine
  • 1 lamb stock cube dissolved in 1/4 pint boiling water
  • 3 oz butter
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 pint milk
  • 2 to 3 oz cheddar cheese
  • 2 beaten eggs

Make it!

  • Slice the aubergines and place in a colander. Sprinkle each layer with salt. Place a plate on top and weigh down with three cans or scale weights.
  • Fry the mince and onions together until the mince is brown. Push to one side and drain all the fat off.
  • Add the tomatoes, puree, sugar, cinnamon, wine and as much stock as needed.
  • Simmer for 30-40 mins.
  • While it simmers, pat the aubergines dry with kitchen paper. Fry them in olive oil until they begin to turn golden. Drain on kitchen paper as you do each batch.
  • Layer the aubergines and mince in a glass dish. Start with the aubergines, then mince, then aubergines and so on - but finish on a layer of aubergines.
  • Make a white sauce by melting the butter and adding the flour. Cook for one minute and then add enough milk to form a thick sauce. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Leave the sauce to cool.
  • When the sauce is cool whisk in the beaten eggs, and pour the sauce over the mince and aubergines. If you can do this in slow motion it looks really snazzy. I learned that off the Marks and Spencer advert.
  • Bake in the oven on 160 degrees for one hour.
  • Serve with roasted vegetables and another glass of the wine you used to make it. Don't know about wine aside from drinking it? Have a read of the new Sluttery wine column.


  1. Sounds yum! And aubergines are uber cheap here right now, so I will definitely be giving this a go! Question though - I normally put put potato slices in my moussaka - is that wrong?!

  2. No, not at all! This is just my recipe - there are about a gazillion different versions of Moussaka and I love how it mutates and evolves as each person adds their own personal touch. Plus, potatoes are YUM. :) Might try that next time!


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