My dad used to live in Cyprus and Moussaka was one of the things I really loved eating out there! I worked in a bar/restaurant there for several mo ths before I joined the Navy and I used to help the chef prepare tonnes of these in teracotta baking dishes ready for serving in the days ahead. Baked until golden brown and served with fresh salads and bread, it was just heaven.
If you’ve tried any of my other recipes you know I’m focused on flavour and this dish is no exception. Prepping the aubergines can be a bit of a faff but I love the way these are served and I think they make a great dish for all the family- especially with the veg I’ve packed into it!
The creamy sauce topping is my absolute favourite and it comes out bubbling and golden brown. You just won’t want to wait to get stuck in!!!
Moussaka Stuffed Aubergines
250g of lean minced (ground) lamb
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot
1 large tomato, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 heaped tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 rounded tablespoons tomato purée
50ml red wine
salt and freshly ground black pepper
150ml greek yogurt
1 medium egg, beaten
50g feta cheese
25g freshly grated parmesan
1. Heat oven to 180°C fan.
2. Slice the aubergines in half lengthways, leaving the stem intact. Using a small knife, cut gently through the flesh (avoiding piercing the skin underneath) In grids (lines length ways and width ways). Using a small knife, carve out the aubergine flesh, so that you have 4 shells. Scrape out as much as you can with a spoon if you can’t cut it out anymore.
3. Brush these with a little of the oil, season and place in a baking dish. Bake for 20 mins.
Finely grate the carrot and courgette, finely slice the onion (I use a mandolin for the lot) and leave to one side.
4. In a large frying pan, whack on a high heat and add the lamb mince. Fry for 3-4 minutes. Add the cinnamon Top into a clean bowl and set aside.
In the same frying pan, add the onion and fry until translucent for 4-5 minutes, add the garlic and fry for another couple of minutes.
5. Add the courgette, carrot and a good handful of the aubergine flesh you scooped out earlier and keep stirring. After a couple of minutes, add the lamb back to the pan (still on a high heat) and add the red wine and reduce. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato purée and simmer until the sauce is reduced and thick. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped parsley.
7. Make your sauce topping: whisk together the eggs, yoghurt, half the feta cheese and season.
8. Fill each of the aubergine shells with the lamb mix and make a tiny well in the middle. Top with the eggy, yoghurt sauce and top with the remaining feta, Parmesan Cheese and a touch of freshly ground black pepper.
9. Bake in the oven at 180° for 25-30 minutes and serve with an epic green salad.