I love food. Food is my love language. I am always in the kitchen making new recipes, trying new recipes, recreating recipes, and loving every minute of it. My family helps me along the way as my taste testers. I think they love it as much as I do. lol.
I do tons of research and taste testing before I share my dishes with you. It must pass the family taste test before it goes on my blog or my YouTube Channel.
This recipe for Greek Moussaka is just one of our favorite dishes. The flavors in this dish are heartwarmingly delicious. If you are not familiar with Moussaka, it is a warm and comforting dish that is layered with spiced beef and topped with a creamy baked bechamel sauce. Not only is this dish tasty but it is also very easy to make.
Let me share with you how I make it.
1 onion – diced
1 garlic clove – minced
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground clove
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
1 lb ground beef
14 oz diced tomatoes
Salt and pepper
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried basil
100g (3/4 stick) Butter ( I always use unsalted)
100g (3/4 cup) Flour
750 ml (3 cups) Warm milk
A pinch of nutmeg
100g (1 cup) Parmesan cheese – grated
3 Egg yolks – in a medium bowl
Salt and pepper
- Place an oven-safe pan over medium heat ( if you do not have an oven-safe pan, cook in a skillet and place in a 9×13 baking dish) and add the olive oil. Preheat your oven to 350*.
- Once heated add the onion, garlic, thyme, clove, cinnamon, and sugar. Stir and cook for 2 minutes or until softened.
- Add the beef and break it apart with a wooden spoon ( or another cooking utensil). Cook until golden and cooked through.
- Add the tomato paste and saute for 2 minutes. Add the parsley and basil. Stir.
- Add the tomatoes and lower the heat to low and cook for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken. Season with salt and pepper.
- In the meantime, In a saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and let it melt. Add the flour and whisk to combine. Whisk and cook for 1 to 2 minutes to cook out any raw flour taste.
- Slowly add in the milk while whisking to prevent the sauce from clumping up.
- Remove from the heat and add the nutmeg, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. Whisk until the cheese is melted and combined with the sauce.
- To the egg yolks ladle in some of the sauce while whisking the egg yolks to prevent them from scrambling. Two or three ladles full should do the trick. Once that is combined add the yolk mixture back to the sauce mixture and whisk until combined well. Add 3 tbsp of the sauce mixture to the beef. mixture and stir to combine.
- Once the tomato and beef mixture has thickened, pour the sauce mixture over the beef mixture and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle the top with 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is golden and the sauce is bubbly. Remove and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
- If you do not have an oven-safe skillet you can use a 9×13 baking dish. Grease the baking dish and add the meat mixture followed by the sauce mixture on top. Spread out evenly and top with parmesan cheese. Bake as directed.
- If you want to lighten this up a tad you can use ground chicken or ground turkey. Although the sauce is quite heavy it pairs well with all three ground types of meat. I have even used ground lamb for this dish as well.
- I serve this with fresh herbs and olive oil on the top and a side salad with a simple dressing. I combine 1/3 cup olive oil, 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste and whisk to combine well, and drizzle over the salad before serving. It is simple but tasty.
- You can add eggplant to this dish if you like. I cut 1 eggplant with salt on both sides and place it on a wire rack. I let it stand for 30 to 40 minutes. I pat dry and add pepper to taste. At this point, you can grill or pan-fry the eggplant in a lightly oiled skillet (use olive oil) until tender and golden brown. Place the eggplant in a greased 9×13 baking dish in a single layer. Top with the meat mixture and spread out evenly. Pour over the sauce and spread out evenly. Top with Parmesan cheese. Bake as directed.
- Pairing this dish with a light side dish such as a salad really cuts the richness of the dish.