I first decided to prepare Greek Moussaka when I started to make Purim dinners for a group of friends. We started out as young couples with our children and now it has grown to include everyones’ grandchildren as well. I needed a menu much of which could be made in advance and that could be served at room temp rather than piping hot. My other requirement was that I serve food from different countries-just to make it interesting. Some of the entrées change from year to year; but Greek Moussaka has remained a constant. It’s easy to make and freeze and everyone loves it. When my daughter became a vegetarian, I added on a Vegetarian Moussaka which is also delicious.
This is a great recipe for any dinner or large party you are having. Guess what- replace the bread crumbs with fine matzah meal and you can make this recipe for Passover!
Note: The original Greek recipes I sourced did not salt the eggplant, fry it or add a Bechamel sauce. Rather than frying, I spray the eggplant slices with olive oil and roast them until soft. (I added this step way after the video was filmed.)This results in a much less salty and less heavy dish. I’ve chosen to leave out the cheese rather than add a non-dairy substitute.
By January 10, 2015Published:
- 12 Servings
- 1 hr 45 mins
- 2 large onions peeled and cored
- 4 large garlic cloves peeled
- 4 pounds chopped steak
- 2 26 ounce containers chopped tomatoes drained
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup Flat Leaf Parsley stemmed and chopped
- pinch ground cinnamon
- Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste
- 3 large young eggplants
- 2/3 cup Olive Oil
- 1 cup Non-dairy Unseasoned Bread Crumbs use fine matzah meal for Passover
- 3 large eggs beaten
- Olive Oil/Olive Oil Spray for greasing pan
- electric food processor steel knife inserted
- large skillet
- 3 cookie sheets lined with baking parchment
- baking pan 15x10x3
- slotted spoon
- Quarter onions and place them in bowl of processor . Add garlic. Pulse on and off until they are chopped.
- Heat olive oil in skillet over medium flame. Sauté onions and garlic until onions are translucent. Pinch off small pieces of chopped meat and add them to the skillet. Stir constantly until the meat is mixed with the onions and garlic and no red color remains in the meat. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley and cinnamon. Stir well. Cook over a medium flame until almost all the liquid has disappeared. Stir occasionally. The sauce should be thick and spreadable. Taste. Season with salt and pepper.
- Preheat oven to: 400° F. Peel eggplants. Cut off the tops and bottoms. Slice eggplants into long 1/4 inch slices. Place on cookie sheets, brush or spray with olive oil and roast 15-20 minutes. Arrange a single layer of slices in baking pan. Fill in any empty spaces with additional pieces of eggplant. Using a slotted spoon, spread half the meat sauce over the slices. Cover with another layer of eggplant and pieces to fill in the spaces. Cover with remaining meat sauce. Smooth over the top to make an even layer.
- Sprinkle half the breadcrumbs over the meat sauce. Pour the eggs over the crumbs and quickly spread it around with a spatula or your fingers. Sprinkle the remaining bread crumbs over the eggs. Bake for 45 -60 minutes or until the top is golden brown and very little liquid shows when you tilt the casserole.
- Let Moussaka cool down before slicing it into squares and arranging them on a platter for serving. You can also cool it completely, cover it with waxed paper and foil and freeze. Cut it into servings as it begins to defrost and you will get neat squares. Reheat for about 25 minutes and serve.