What is Moussaka?
Moussaka is the ultimate dish for family feasts and weekend gatherings. It is a top favourite comfort food in Greece to indulge in and is relatively easy to prepare.
The traditional Greek Moussaka is a oven casserole dish made with layers of vegetables and meat. There are many different variations of this dish but the most well know version will tend to contain: eggplant slices, cheese, and a meat sauce. These ingredients are then layered and topped with a thick béchamel sauce. In other variations potatoes, zucchini and other combinations of vegetables are combined. This dish can also be enjoyed without meat for as a vegetarian alternative.
Until the early 1900s, moussaka was a simple dish that was made using just vegetables and meats. A Greek chef, Nikos Tselemente, who trained in France, decided to add an additional ingredient of béchamel sauce to cover the top layer. This updated version quickly became a favourite in Greece.
How is it made?
In the Greek version of moussaka, potatoes and eggplants are cut into thin slices then fried in olive oil. The eggplant are salted to extract excess liquid and to remove any bitterness taste. This requires sprinkle salt on the top and bottom of the eggplant slices. Then leaving them to rest for 30 minutes before rinsing of and patting dry. For the meat sauce, Moussaka is traditionally made with lamb but can be equally enjoyed with beef. Unlike Bolognese, the sauce for Moussaka is much thicker in order for the layers to hold in place and offer a richer taste. For added taste, a hard cheese such as kefalotyri is grated in the middle just before the laying process.
Once all the components have been made, the eggplants, potatoes, meat sauce are layered in a square pan. The final step is to cover the top layer with a delicious white béchamel sauce. The Greek version of béchamel sauce is made with eggs which causes the sauce to set into a nice thick layer when it is baked in the oven. A necessity because Moussaka has a nice big thick layer of Béchamel Sauce. Once baked the dish will present a golden top golden top along with the white béchamel sauce seeping out. When you cut through this dish you see all the amazing layers combine together.
What is it served with?
This wholesome dish is great to enjoy as a main dish and perfect served with a side of fresh salad and crusty bread.
Now you can enjoy this tasty Greek dish courtesy of The Greek deli. Available to order directly from our online shop by clicking on the link here where you can indulge in this traditional recipe made from Thessaloniki.
The Greek Deli
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