ENSURE THAT ALL THE VEGETABLES ARE PREPARED AS FOR TGGD
This, as you can imagine, is a very tasty and vegetable-meat filled dish.
The recipe feeds 4-6 And as with true Moussaka it DOES NOT CONTAIN CHEESE, American Restaurants have a tendency to put cheese in everything.
1 pound lean ground meat
( beef/veal/pork/dark meat chicken or turkey.
Traditionally it is made with lamb)...
if making it Vegetarian use 1/2 pound tempeh, (boil in salted water for 30 mins, cool, rinse in cold water and crumble before using in the recipe)
2 cups finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped carrots
1 cup finely minced celery
3 cloves garlic smashed and minced
2tbsp neutral oil ( sunflower. safflower etc.)
3 cups 1/4 inch sliced waxy potatoes (red and white in USA are fine)
2 globe eggplants cut in 1/4 inch slices (slice and place in a colander and sprinkle with salt, leave for 1 hour then wash well and drain)
Dried thyme salt & pepper
Fresh minced rosemary ( optional)
2 cups milk ( nut milk is fine)
cornstarch ( trad. flour is used with butter to make a roux and then bechamel..I am cooking for Gluten-free folk)
2 tsp ground paprika
1 cup chopped peeled tomatoes or canned
3 cups beef or chicken stock, MADE AS IN TGGD red/white wine (optional)
The meat and vegetable sauce:
Saute the meat in batches in the oil in a heavy skillet.. Remove & set aside
COOK the onions, celery and carrots As in TGGD, then add this to a heavy bottomed saucepan, add the meat and saute for 3 mins, adding the garlic, paprika and 2tsp dried thyme (or fresh rosemary minced)
De glaze with the wine.
Cover with hot stock,and tomatoes and bring to boil
Simmer on med high heat for 45 mins until the meat is tender...and the liquid has reduced by 2/3.
Season with salt and pepper.
Set aside ( I like to cook mine the day before so there flavors in the meat and vegetable sauce can develop store when cold in the fridge.)
To assemble the dish
Boil the potato slices* in salted water until just cooked, drain well and set aside
Bake the eggplant slices on a greased cookie sheet in a 400f oven until lightly browned, on one side only. remove and allow to cool down.
Bring the milk to a rolling boil, add 1 tsp thyme, 2 more cloves garlic smashed and minced, 1 tsp ground nutmeg and mix 2tsp cornstarch with a little more cold milk and add to the boiling mix...you may have to add more cornstarch and milk to get a sauce the thickness of double cream.
remove from heat.
In a medium bowl , beat a large egg(room temp.) very well, and whisking slowly add the warm sauce ( go slow so that the eggs don't scramble).
In a large deep ovenproof dish (souffle dishes are good for this), grease well.
Then place a layer of the warmed meat and vegetable sauce, top with cooked eggplant, another layer of sauce, topped with layers of potatoes overlapping..repeat this and end with potatoes.
Top the potatoes with the egg and milk sauce ( bechamel) and bake, on a cookie sheet, in a 350F oven for 30-45 mins until golden and bubbling.
remove from oven and wait 10 mins before serving as contents will be boiling hot.
* for smaller dishes I add the potatoes to the meat sauce as it cooks then just layer with the baked eggplants.