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- Meat and poultry
- Lamb mince
Here's an easy take on a Greek moussaka, using diced aubergines instead of fried aubergine slices. Delicious!
135 people made this
- 900g baby new potatoes, halved
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 500g lean minced lamb
- 2 aubergines, roughly chopped
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 100ml well-flavoured lamb or vegetable stock, made with a stock cube
- 1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 225ml milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder (optional)
- 75g Cheddar cheese, grated
MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:20min ›Ready in:50min
- Cook the potatoes in a pan of slightly salted boiling water until tender. Drain. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy nonstick frying pan or sauté pan and stir in the onions and lamb. Cook over a medium heat, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until the onions are softened and the lamb is lightly browned.
- Stir in the aubergines, then cook over a fairly high heat for 3 minutes.
- Add the cinnamon and season, then add the chopped tomatoes, stock and herbs. Stir well, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until cooked through and tender. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan oven), gas 6.
- While the meat mixture is cooking, put the cornflour in a small pan and add 2 tbsp milk. Stir until blended using a wooden spoon, then stir in the remaining milk. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring until thickened. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir to cool a little. Beat in the egg and season with mustard, if using, and salt and pepper.
- Spoon the meat and aubergine mixture into a warm, shallow ovenproof dish and spread evenly. Lay the potato halves over the top, flat side up. Pour over the topping and sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake near the top of the oven for 20 minutes or until golden.
Spicy South African ‘bobotie’ Omit the potatoes. Soak a thick slice of white bread in 200ml semi-skimmed milk, then squeeze it out well (reserve the milk). At step 2 omit the aubergines, and tear the bread into the browned meat mixture. Stir in 1 tbsp medium curry powder, or to taste, 3 tbsp mango or apricot chutney and 1 tbsp raisins. Season and add a little lemon juice if you like, then turn the mixture into a greased baking dish. Omit the egg and cheese topping. Mix the reserved milk with 1 beaten egg and spoon over the meat. Bake at 180°C (160°C fan oven), gas 4 for 30 minutes or until golden. * Lamb with fennel and coriander Omit the potatoes. Cook the lamb with the onions and tomatoes as for the basic recipe, but omit the aubergines. Replace the cinnamon with 1 tsp ground coriander. Spoon half the lamb sauce into a baking dish. Slice 2 large (or 3 medium) fennel bulbs lengthways, then quarter the slices. Cook in boiling water for 5 minutes, drain and arrange on top of the lamb. Cover with the remaining lamb mixture. Cover the dish with a lid or foil and bake at 180°C (160°C fan oven), gas 4 for 30 minutes.
Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(8)
Reviews in English (7)
Tasty but time consuming - is it just me who thinks 30 minutes is unrealistic?-02 May 2012
Not the best cook if the truth be known however I cooked this for four people and it was fantastic! I followed the recipe word for word and can honestly say WOW! Looked good and tasted delicious ~ so a big thank you for sharing it-13 Feb 2012
Tried this and it was delicious. A cross between shepherd's pie and scallop potatoes but much better-05 Oct 2011
This dish is a traditional Greek dish that is typically made with either eggplant or potatoes. Serve with a side salad.
4 large eggplants
Kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 lemon, sliced into thin circles
1 handful fresh oregano leaves, chopped
2 handfuls fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 lb. ground lamb (or ground beef could be substituted)
2 lb. cinnamon stick
3 T. tomato paste
16 oz.can whole tomatoes, drained and hand-crushed
8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
1 c. freshly grated Parmesan
1 c. fresh bread crumbs
Cut off stems of eggplants, remove the skin with a knife or a vegetable peeler, and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick slices. Season all pieces with salt and pepper on both sides.
Coat a large skillet with oil heat over medium heat. Fry eggplant in a single layer, turning once, until brown on both sides. Do this in batches, adding oil, as necessary. Drain eggplant as they cook on a paper towel-lined platter.
Add a little more oil to the pan toss in onion, garlic, lemon slices, oregano, and parsley. Cook and stir until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add ground lamb, stirring to break up the meat season with salt and pepper, and toss in the cinnamon stick. Stir in the tomato paste and hand-crushed tomatoes. Simmer until liquid has cooked off, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line bottom of a 9x13 inch glass or ceramic baking dish with 1/3 of the eggplant slices completely cover the bottom with no gaps. Spread 1/2 of the meat sauce over the eggplant, evening it out with a spoon. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the feta cheese and Parmesan cheese. Repeat the layers again, ending with a final layer of eggplant. Cover the top with a nice even layer of bread crumbs.
Bake 30 - 40 minutes or until the top is golden. Cool 10 minutes before serving.
Moussaka Key Steps
Many people believe that making Moussaka is difficult. However, that could not be further away from the truth! In reality, making your Moussaka comes down to three very simple, key steps:
- preparing the meat sauce,
- preparing the eggplants and potatoes,
- preparing the béchamel sauce and assembling
You’ll need to dirty up some pans but it is well worth it! So lets get started…
How do you make a Vegetarian Moussaka?
Pre heat your oven to 180C and chop the onions, garlic, and the courgettes.
TOP TIME SAVING TIP: I often use frozen onion and garlic, it is so handy!
Firstly, fry the onions and garlic in a little of the olive oil for around 3 minutes, until the onion is softened and starting to brown. Now add in the courgettes, salt and pepper to taste, oregano, and fry for three minutes until the courgette begins to soften.
Now add in chopped tomatoes, water, honey, cinnamon and lentils, stir to combine and simmer for approx 30 minutes.
If it get too thick and starts to stick, add a splash more water.
Top tip! At the end of the cooking time, check that the the lentils are soft and tender, not grainy. If not, cook for a couple more minutes.
Top tip! To reduce cooking time you could you ready cooked tinned green lentils however I must say the texture of this is much nicer with the red.
Whilst the tomato mixture is bubbling away, wash and slice your aubergines into two cm thick slices (see photos). There is no need to salt them. Add a grind of pepper. Peel and slice your potatoes to the same thickness as your courgettes.
Place your sliced aubergine on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes. Boil your potatoes for around 15 minutes. In traditional Greek recipes the aubergine would be fried on a griddle, but I’ve chosen to oven cook as its is much simpler and the aubergine absorbs less oil so it makes for a healthier dish.
Top tip! You can buy frozen sliced Aubergine to cut out one of the steps! You can simply defrost this and layer on top of the tomato mixture so it cooks in the oven.
Now, spread the tomato mixture into a baking dish, layer your cooked aubergine over the top, overlapping the slices.
Layer your potatoes over the aubergine. Now to make the topping!
Put, ricotta, eggs and some grated fresh nutmeg into a bowl and combine gently with a whisk.
Pour the topping mixture over your potatoes, taking care to ensure everything is covered. Now sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese and place back into the oven for 20 minutes, until golden and bubbling….yummy!
- 3 medium aubergines, thinly sliced
- 1tbsp salt
- 4 potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced
- 6tbsp olive oil plus a little extra for frying
- 2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 500g minced beef or lamb
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
- 4 large ripe tomatoes
- 1tbsp tomato puree
- 75ml red wine
- A small handful fresh chopped parsley
- For the topping:
- 40g butter
- 40g plain flour
- 300ml milk
- 75g grated mozzarella or cheddar cheese
Layer up the aubergines, sprinkling with salt as you do in a colander. Place over a bowl and leave whilst preparing the moussaka (see that’s good to know).
Place a large pan of salt water on to boil. When boiling add the sliced potatoes. Reduce heat slightly and simmer for 4-5 mins until just tender but still holding their shape. Drain thoroughly and set aside.
Meanwhile heat 1tbsp of the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and garlic, cover and cook gently for 5 mins, stirring once or twice until soft. Add the minced beef or lamb and cook, stirring regularly for a further 5-6 minutes until mince is brown. If using lamb mince, carefully drain off any excess fat.
Sprinkle over the cinnamon and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Meanwhile chop 2 of the tomatoes. Add to the pan with the tomato puree and the red wine. Cover the pan and simmer, stirring regularly for 10 mins. Stir in the chopped parsley.
Meanwhile make the topping: Slice the remaining tomatoes thinly. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour to make a paste. Cook, stirring for 1 minute then remove the pan from the heat. Whisk in the milk and season to taste. Return to the heat and bring up to the boil, stirring until thickened. Cover with wetted cling film or greaseproof paper to prevent a skin forming.
Rinse the aubergines and pat dry. Heat half of the remaining oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Fry half of the aubergine slices in an even layer, turning over once until softened and golden. Drain on absorbent kitchen paper. Repeat the process using the remaining oil and aubergines. (If your frying pan is not large enough then cook more batches – see That’s good to know).
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/350°F. Place the potatoes in an even layer over the base of a large ovenproof dish. Next, layer up the aubergines and minced beef, ending with a layer of aubergines. Spread half of the white sauce over the top of the aubergines. Top with the sliced tomatoes then spread over the remaining white sauce. Sprinkle with the mozzarella or cheddar cheese. Bake for 35-45 mins until golden and bubbling. Serve hot.
Easy Quorn Moussaka
I am such a big fan of Quorn – I always keep a bag or two of Quorn stashed in the freezer. It makes a really great midweek meal standby as I always know I can make a quick Quorn Bolognese or Quorn Stir Fry if plans change and I need to make a meal in a hurry!
One thing I love about it is how quick it is to cook. You can cook it straight from frozen and it’s done in a few minutes – no long simmering! And the texture is lovely and soft and not chewy – making it very child friendly.
I also love how healthy it is: low in calories and fat and high in fibre. Plus it’s super versatile – I do all sorts quit quorn, but my favourites have to be my Quorn Chicken Pie and this, my Easy Quorn Moussaka.
Moussaka is traditionally a complicated and time-consuming dish. Delicious, but not ‘easy peasy’. This version, however, is super easy – and quick! Simply fry the aubergine slices, make a simple Quorn mince, mushroom and tomato filling and top it all off with a ‘cheat’s’ cheese sauce made with a mixture of Greek yogurt and cheddar cheese.
This Quorn mince moussaka is definitely easy enough to make on a busy weeknight, but definitely delicious enough to have at the weekend too – it would make a great vegetarian Sunday lunch!
My Easy Quorn Moussaka is lovely just as it is, or you could serve it with a simple salad and some garlic bread.
A great wine match for this dish would be a Cotes du Rhone, or another Grenache or Syrah blend.
Our resident allotment owner Food Urchin, shares his moussaka stuffed marrow recipe and his story about what it’s like to be part of a community of plot owners.
National Allotment Week may well be drawing to a close and whilst I could use this post to extol the benefits and virtues of growing your own fruit and vegetables (they’re local, they’re fresh, they taste lovely), I thought it would be more beneficial to regale a conversation I had last week. To give you more of an insight of what it really is like to be immersed within an allotment community. Because personally, it is the interaction and conversations that I have with some of the older members of Norfolk Road allotments that makes all the effort worthwhile and just that extra bit special.
Under a baking hot sun, I was going about the business of watering everything, which given that it was around midday, was a totally impractical thing to do. Thirsty plants are far happier to receive a drink first thing in the morning or at the end of the day. But nevertheless, there I was running back and forth to the water tank with my son’s t-shirt on my bald head, protecting it from the harsh UV rays because I forgot my hat.
Ray, a grey, moustachioed, lanky sort of chap who owns a plot at the other end, appeared out of nowhere and gave me a bit of a fright. Still, I acknowledged his presence with a wink and he tipped his hat my direction and surveyed all my produce with a keen eye. By all accounts, my tomatoes needed a thorough pinching out, my onions weren’t planted deep enough and the gauge on the chicken wire that I had bought to protect my brassicas was far too wide. White cabbage butterflies could easily fly in and lay eggs, apparently.
I have become used to these pearls of wisdom and always graciously accept them through gritted teeth. Ray, quite sombrely, then went on to tell me a story.
“Did you hear about the row the other day Dan?”
“Bill accused Dave of pinching his strawberries and they tried to have a fight.”
“They tried to have a fight?”
“Yeah, well Bill went to kick Dave, missed and fell over and twisted his ankle. Then, whilst Bill was on the floor, Dave tried to punch Bill on the nose and he missed and fell and cracked his head open.”
“They got carted off together in an ambulance, screaming and shouting at each other.”
And with that, Ray burst out laughing and then so did I.
I don’t actually know how old Bill and Dave are but they have got to be in their 70’s at least and if anything exemplifies the passions that allotments can arouse, then that little tale has to be it. One day I should write a book about life and the characters on Norfolk Road. Or a screenplay even. In the meantime, I shall keep on tending away and observing for material. Although, perhaps I need to keep a closer eye on what I am actually growing because as Ray sternly pointed out just before he walked back, I keep letting my courgettes grow too big. So big, that they practically become marrows.
Perhaps I’ll give one or two to Bill and Dave when they’ve fully recuperated. But then again, maybe not, as these beauties could become a nasty weapon in the wrong hands.
A traditional Greek dish, made in the traditional way. Please don’t be put off by the length of this recipe. It is actually quite easy.
- 2 whole Large Potatoes, Peeled And Sliced
- 3 whole Medium Eggplant, Peeled And Sliced
- 1 pound, 1-⅔ ounces, weight Minced Beef
- 1 whole Medium Onion, Chopped
- 1 can Chopped Tomatoes
- 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste (optional)
- 4 cloves Garlic (or To Taste)
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamom
- ½ teaspoons Cumin Powder
- 2 leaves Bay
- 3 whole Egg Yolk Only
- 2-⅔ ounces, weight Butter
- 3 cups, 2 tablespoons, 2 teaspoons, 2-⅝ pinches Milk
- 2-½ ounces, weight Pecorino Or Parmesan Cheese
- 3-⅝ ounces, weight Gluten Free Flour
- 5-⅓ ounces, weight Oil
First prepare the meat sauce:
Put about 75 ml of oil in a large fry pan. Add the garlic, saute for a minute, then add the finely chopped onion. Let them wilt while stirring constantly, then add the the minced meat. Brown the meat (at this point you might like to add a glass of red wine, letting it evaporate quickly). Add the cinnamon, cumin powder and bay leaf. Add the chopped tomatoes and the tomato paste. Season with salt and pepper (I like to add a few fresh herbs like parsley, oregano, sage, and if I am lucky, basil!) Lower the heat and let it simmer for as long as possible (at least 1 hour, but longer is better!)
While that is going, peel and cut the eggplants in 1 inch slices. Spread them out on a clean towel, sprinkle some salt on them and let them “sweat’ for a few minutes. Pat them dry, brush them with the some of the oil on both sides, lay them on baking dishes and put them in the oven on 160/170C (low) for 10-15 minutes.
Peel and slice the potatoes and fry the slices in the remaining oil. By the time you have done this, the eggplant will be ready!
Make a bechamel sauce with the butter, flour and milk. Off the heat, add the 3 egg yolks, a good grating of nutmeg, salt, pepper and the Parmesan or Pecorino cheese. Now you are ready to assemble.
In an ovenproof dish, make a layer of potatoes. Add just a bit of the meat sauce, then a layer of eggplant. Add a generous amount of meat sauce (on top of that I like to add a bit of the bechamel sauce, which is not traditional, but I like it!). Then add a second layer of eggplant and the rest of the bechamel sauce. Finish off with a good sprinkling of grated parmesan.
Put in the oven for 30-35 minutes on medium heat, just to warm it through. Let it rest for at least half an hour.
Serve with a mixed salad and crusty bread…
and you are in Greece!
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I’m Vidar. For the past few years, I’ve been exploring the foods of Turkey, the Middle East and beyond from my house in Balat, Istanbul. Let me show you around!
I’ve published two books on Turkish and Middle Eastern food, available in Norwegian and German.
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Easy Lamb and Potato Moussaka
A quick and tasty Lamb and Potato Moussaka recipe, using potatoes in place of aubergine, flavoured with cinnamon and oregano and topped with an instant, tangy cheese sauce.
- 5-6 large potatoes, I used Maris Piper, peels and finely sliced
- 2-4 tablespoons olive oil or rapeseed oil
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
- 500g/one pound lean ground lamb mince
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste/puree
- 1 can chopped plum tomatoes
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the cheese sauce -
- 200g/one cup crème fraîche
- 50g/half a cup grated cheddar cheese
- 50g/half a cup grated Parmesan cheese
- A dash of milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- A little butter for the baking dish
- Heat a tablespoon of rapeseed oil in a large, flat pan. Firstly, start by gently browning the potato slices. Do this by frying a few slices for one-two minutes on each side, in batches, until they are all slightly golden. Add a little more oil to the pan as necessary. Keep all the potatoes to one side, on some kitchen paper, until later. You can skip the potato-browning stage if you want a quicker version.
- Once that's done, in the same pan, add a further tablespoon of oil and cook the onions and garlic until soft and golden. Add the minced/ground lamb, turning up the heat a little to brown the meat all over. Sprinkle over the cinnamon and dried oregano and stir. Add in the tomato paste, canned tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Turn down the heat and allow the sauce to simmer for 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, make the quick cheese sauce by gently heating the creme fraiche and stirring through all the cheese until melted. Add a splash of milk to loosen the sauce, take it off the heat, allow to cool a little then whisk in the beaten egg.
- When you are ready to eat, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
- Lightly grease three small dishes or one large baking dish with a little butter. Spoon in some of the lamb sauce, then a layer of potato, then a further layer of lamb sauce followed again by potato. Pour the cheese sauce over the top.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for 35-40 minutes, until the potatoes are soft and the top is golden.
Freezer Tip: Bake the Moussaka and cool completely. Portion up into small containers, double-wrap in foil and freeze. Defrost in the usual manner and reheat in microwave (or oven) until thoroughly heated through for a quick meal.
I hope you feel inspired to give this easy Lamb and Potato Moussaka a try – it’s a great family-friendly meal or perhaps even a crowd-pleased to bookmark for the upcoming World Cup!