Moussaka Circa.1910 Recipe

Create the taste of Greece in your home with this delicious Moussaka by Universal Hotel’s 1821 chef David Tsirekas. This hearty and wholesome dish will certainly have the family over for more.

moussaka

Prepare lamb filling prior to constructing Moussaka

For lamb filling:

2kg forequarter lamb fat trimmed and boneless
2 oranges
2 cinnamon sticks
4 bayleaves
1 cup olive oil
1 cup tomato paste
salt and pepper

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 200c
2. Cut lamb fores into fist size pieces and place in baking dish.
3.Zest the 2 oranges and squeeze the juice of the oranges onto lamb.
4. Put in cinnamon sticks, olive oil, tomato paste, bayleaves and salt and pepper to taste and mix well.
5. Cover meat with water just so it submerges it.
6. Cover with baking paper then with foil
7. Place in oven for about 1.5hrs.
8. Remove to cool.

Preparing mousaka layers:

2litre canola oil
10 large pontiac potatoes
4 eggplant
250gram kasseri cheese
plain flour

Method:

1. Slice potatoes into 330mm slices soak in water
2. Slice eggplant into 600mm slices and soak in salted water
3. Prepare a pan with the oil to fry. The oil should be enough for the potato and eggplant to float and not sink or touch the bottom. Otherwise use a deep fryer if have one and have at 160c
4. Prepare a tray with absorbant paper:

When oil is hot enough…

1. Potatoes straight from water into fryer… shake off any excess water prior to putting them in.
2. Fry until golden brown. Place to absorb on paper. Repeat until finished potato.
3. Remove eggplant from salted water. Prepare another water that is clean. First flour eggplant and then dip into water and then into hot oil. This is to minimise it from absorbing excess oil and making your mousaka very oily. As per the potatoes…until golden brown and place on paper towel to absorb any residual oil. Once all is fried you can begin to construct the base of mousaka.
4. In a baking tray arrange potatoes first. Arrange like fish scales where each is overlapping each other. You may have some potatoes leftover. Season with salt and pepper and grate kasseri over potato layer. Repeat again for eggplant. Once again season and grate kasseri.

For lamb layer… Drain lamb from braising liquid and remove any bayleaves and cinnamon sticks.

1. Just pull apart cooked lamb forequarter and place in bowl. You can decide whether you want it chunky or more finer strands of lamb. Add just a touch of liquid to make it a little wetter to hold together.
2. Arrange over eggplant layer to cover dish. Grate kasseri over top.

Bechamel:

1 litre milk
1/2 cup sifted plain flour
1/2 cup butter
200grams sour cream
salt and pepper to season
pinch nutmeg

Method:

1. Heat milk and nutmeg until warm
2. In a seperate pot melt butter and add flour to make pastey roux. Cook out flour a little bit over low heat but not too much. Must remain blonde. Slowly add milk mixture while whisking. The slower and regular you add…the more creamy and set the bechamel will become. Make sure to stir out any lumps…add milk more quicker if its thickening quicker. keep heat at low to medium. Once added all milk add sour cream and whisk through well. It shouldnt be too thick. The thicker you make it the more gelatinous it will become…too thin and it wont set right. It should have the texture of custard. Pour over lamb layer.
3. Grate remaining kasseri over top and set aside for 30 mins to just cool and set a skin on top.
4. Place in oven at 200c and cook until golden brown. Generally around 10-15mins
5. Once cooked…. set aside to rest in a warm place…serve after 5-10 mins
6. Can be kept for 3-5 days in fridge and warmed in oven or microwave

 

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