Moussaka (Johnson & Wales University)

Yield: 12 servings


3 eggplants, peeled and cut lengthwise into ½-inch thick slices

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 pound lean ground beef

2 onions, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon herbs de Provence

2 tablespoons dried parsley

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

1/2 cup red wine

1 egg, beaten

For the sauce

4 cups milk

1/2 cup unsalted butter

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Salt and white pepper, to taste

1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Method of Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Lay eggplant slices on paper towels, sprinkle lightly with salt, and set aside for 30 minutes to draw out moisture. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Quickly fry eggplant until browned. Set aside on paper towels to drain.

3. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef, onions, garlic, salt and pepper. After beef is browned, sprinkle in cinnamon, nutmeg, herbes de Provence and parsley.

4. Pour in the tomato sauce and wine and mix well. Simmer for 20 minutes. Allow to cool, then stir in egg.

5. To make the sauce, use a small saucepan, heat milk just below a boil. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Lower heat; gradually pour in hot milk, whisking constantly until it thickens. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.

6. Arrange layer of eggplant in a greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Cover eggplant with all of meat mixture, then sprinkle half cup of Parmesan cheese on top.

7. Cover with remaining eggplant, and sprinkle with another half cup cheese. Pour sauce over top, and sprinkle with nutmeg. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

8. Bake for one hour.

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