Moussaka Greek Lamb Casserole

Serves 8 to 10

This is a traditional Greek dish. Can be served hot, warm or at room temperature.

The flavor of this dish will improve if cooked a day in advance. Reheat before serving.

3 medium-sized eggplants

2 cups butter (divided)

3 large onions, finely chopped

2 pounds ground lamb or beef

3 tbsp. tomato paste

½ cup red wine

½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

¼ tsp cinnamon

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

6 tbsp flour

1 quart of milk

4 eggs, beaten


2 cups ricotta or cottage cheese

1 cup fine bread crumbs

1 cup grated Parmigiana Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese

  1. Peel the eggplants and cut into slices about ½ inch thick. Brown the eggplant quickly in 4 tbsp. of the butter and set aside.
  2. In the same skillet, melt the rest of the butter and cook the onions until brown. Add the ground meat and cook about ten minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the tomato paste, wine, parsley, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Add the mixture to the meat and cook, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes until any liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat.

Pre-heat the oven to 375° F.

  1. Make a white sauce by melting 8 tbsp. butter over medium-high heat and adding the flour to it with a wire whisk, stirring constantly. Add the milk and continue stirring until the mixture thickens and is smooth. The sauce will be fairly liquid. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the eggs, ricotta cheese and nutmeg.
  3. Grease a 11 x 16 inch pan and sprinkle the bottom with bread crumbs. Arrange alternate layers of eggplant and meat sauce in the pan, sprinkling each layer with grated chees and bread crumbs. Pour the white sauce evenly over the pan.
  4. Bake one hour or until the top is golden brown. Cut into squares and serve.

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