Moussaka (lamb and aubergine bake)

8 servings Prep: 20 mins, Cooking: 1 hr 10 mins By Food24
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Ingredients (16)

950 g lamb mince — lean
3 aubergines — medium
150 - 175 ml olive oil — extra virgin
1 red onion — large, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic — cloves, peeled and smashed
500 ml wine — white
1 x 400 g tinned tomatoes — diced
1 x 5 cm cinnamon — stick
4 cardamom — black pods
1 handful fresh oregano — chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
TOPPING:
75 g butter
75 g flour — plain
600 ml milk — full cream
200 g parmesan cheese — finely grated
2 eggs — medium, beaten
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Method:

Preheat the oven at 200 C.
 
Heat a small amount of olive oil in a pan and fry the onions until they are soft and golden and remove from the pan.
 
In the same pan, add the minced lamb and fry on high until the meat is brown and loose.

Make sure that there are no lumps, add a drop of oil if you really need to, but try to do this on the pan without the oil because lamb is quite fatty.

Add the wine, the garlic cloves, the tomatoes, the cinnamon and the oregano and simmer gently for 30-40 minutes.

Cut the stalks off the aubergines and cut them lengthways into  ½ cm thick slices.

Heat up the oil in a large saucepan until it’s hot, add a splash of olive oil and fry the aubergine slices quickly until they are just soft and lightly coloured on each side.

Lift them out with tongs and start to layer over the base of a large (about 2,5 litre) ovenproof dish  and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Continue layering until all the aubergines are used up, adding more oil to fry should this be necessary.

To make the topping, melt the butter in a non-stick pan, add the flour and cook over a medium heat for a minute  or so to cook the flour.

Gradually whisk in the milk and bring to the boil, stirring swiftly (as you would any white sauce) and leave to simmer very gently until it is thick, whisking more often that not.
 
Stir in the cheese and check and correct the seasoning to taste, allow the sauce to cool and beat in the eggs.

Remove the cinnamon stick and black cardamom pods from the lamb sauce, season to taste with salt and pepper and spoon it over the top of the aubergines.

Pour over the topping and bake for 25-30 minutes until the top is golden-brown and bubbling.



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