18 March 2007

Bulgarian Moussaka

Yesterday my good friend Simon came over for dinner. And so I made moussaka, I hadn't done that for a long time, so I was looking forward to it and indeed, I got a bit over-excited and used too much potatoes.


2 large aubergines
1 - 2 tbsp grapeseed oil
2 medium sized onions
3 - 4 tbsp grapeseed oil
1.5 tbsp sweet paprika
1 - 3 dl water
500 g potatoes
2 medium sized carrots
500 g minced meat
1 x 400 g can tomatoes
salt, black pepper, parsley and savoury

  1. Wash and slice the aubergines, about 1 cm thick, then fry them lightly in a little bit of oil. Best is to just brush the pan between rounds. Then put aside.
  2. Peel and dice the onions. Peel and dice the potatoes, about 1 cm cubes. Peel and cut the carrots finely - I normally slice it first about 3 mm thick, then quarter the slices.
  3. Fry the onions in the oil. When they turn translucent, add the paprika and stir quickly for about 1 minute.
  4. Add the potatoes and stir well. Pour 1 dl water and let simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the carrots and stir in.
  6. When the vegetables begin to soften, add the minced meat and stir in well, until it has browned.
  7. If it seems a bit dry, pour in 1 - 2 dl water and let simmer for another 10 minutes.
  8. Now add the tomatoes - either crushed or blended. Also add the salt, pepper, parsley and savoury.
  9. Leave to simmer and in the mean time, line an oven-safe dish with half of the aubergines.
  10. Take the mince mix off the heat and turn over to the dish. Cover with the remaining aubergines.
  11. Bake in the oven. Start at gas mark 6 (200 degrees C) and when it starts bubbling, reduce the heat to gas mark 4 (175 degrees C) and leave to cook for 45 - 60 minutes.
  12. Now prepare the topping

3 tbsp grapeseed oil
3 tbsp plain flour
3 - 4 dl milk
3 eggs
grated cheese or feta cheese (optional)

  1. Heat up the oil and add the flour, stirring quickly.
  2. Slowly add the milk, still stirring it in.
  3. When all the milk has been incorporated, take off the heat. The consistency should be of a custard cream.
  4. Leave to cool a bit, then whisk in the eggs and the optional cheese. If needed add also salt.
  5. When the moussaka has finished baking, take it out and cover with the topping, then put back in the oven, turn up the heat to gas mark 9 (250 degrees C) until it gets golden in colour.
Over the last few years, my parents have very kindly given me a collection of small painted terracotta pots which are very good for making portion sized moussakas - very good for dinner parties and this is what it looks when you use them.

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