Lockdown Cooking – Almost Moussaka
I am in a lucky position, I don’t have to worry about not being able to refill my cupboards with food. But that doesn’t mean that buying food regularly isn’t a challenge. I’m doing everything I can not to leave the flat and that includes going out to buy supplies. So we have to try and judge our food deliveries carefully. As we approach the end of a food delivery cycle, some of our dishes have to get “creative”.
This week we had some minced beef, an aubergine and some potatoes left. So I thought I would attempt to make a sort of Moussaka. I have a well-stocked drawer with what seems like random spices and herbs, so I had a dig to pull out things that felt like it would go in a Moussaka.
A cinnamon stick, some bay leaves, oregano, rosemary, ground cumin and barberries later, I felt up for the task. Side note, I have no idea where the barberries came from, but they looked interesting!
So I set to making a tinned tomato-based sauce with minced beef, onions and garlic. Fried up some aubergine slices and prepared some potato slices as well. Then I started to layer them in a ceramic dish, sort of like a lasagne.
I asked the boyfriend to make his cow’s milk-free white sauce (it’s a little unconventional, but absolutely delicious) and used it to top the Moussaka.
Yes, that is a dusting of pecorino cheese (it’s made from sheep’s milk, so my cow’s milk allergy boyfriend is fine!). And yes, that is the boyfriend, beautifully posing with said moussaka.
Finally, after 40mins in the oven, it was ready!
It was delicious, but next time I need to add more flavours and possibly some heat (chilli?). Also, if you have a second aubergine then I would recommend using it as well.
Beef Almost Moussaka
- Olive Oil
- 500 g Minced Beef
- 2 Echalion Onions the pointy onions - sliced
- 3 cloves Garlic crushed
- 2 tsp Cumin
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- 4 Bay Leaves
- 2 tsp Oregano
- 2 tsp Rosemary
- 200 ml Red Wine
- 2 tbsp Tomato Puree
- 400 g Pulped Tomatoes (tinned)
- 1 tbsp Barberries Optional
- 1 Aubergine Sliced finely
- 6 Charlotte Potatoes Sliced finely
- 80 g Pure Margarine
- 80 g Plain Flour
- Hot Water
- 100 g Goats Cheese grated
- 50 g Pecorino Cheese grated
- Gently fry the onions and garlic in oil until the onions are translucent.
- Add the minced beef and continue to fry until the meat is cooked.
- Add cumin and tomato puree and stir until well combined and fragrant.
- Add red wine and cook until you can't smell the alcohol anymore.
- Add the bay leaves, cinnamon stick, oregano, rosemary and barberries and mix well.
- Pour over the tin of pulped tomatoes, the fill the tin with water and add to the pan.
- Season to taste and simmer until the sauce is thick (stirring occasionally).
- Meanwhile, fry the slices of aubergine until they have some colour, put aside on a plate.
- Over a medium heat, combine the margarine and flour together to form a paste.
- Add a drop of hot water to bring it together into a ball.
- Keep stirring and continue cooking until the raw flour taste has gone.
- Add hot water a little at a time, stirring well, until you have a thick sauce.
- Add the goat's cheese and melt through.
Cooking the Moussaka
- Preheat the oven to 200°c
- Put half of the meat sauce in a ceramic baking dish.
- Layer on half the sliced potatoes and top with half the aubergine.
- Repeat with the other half of the meat sauce, potatoes and aubergine.
- Top with the white sauce and cover the top with pecorino cheese.
- Bake in the oven for 40mins, or until the potatoes are cooked through and the top is golden brown.
3 February 2023
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