This is the dish I chose to make for my first dinner when I broke away from corporate life and went to work at the retreat in Norfolk. I have since developed it a little more and it is still one of my favourites. It is so tasty and well worth the preparation time. This really will wow your friends and family.
- Olive oil
- 3 Tbsp Dried oregano
- 2 heaped tsp of cinnamon
- 2 large white onions finely chopped
- 3 Garlic cloves crushed
- 200 ml red wine
- 200 ml veg stock (use knorr stock pots for GF)
- 1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 tin of chickpeas and juice
- 200g dried green or red lentils
- 6 large aubergines (if small get 10)
- 5 Large white potatoes
- Fresh Rosemary
- 2 bay leaves.
- For the sauce:
- 750 ml milk
- 1 Tsp nutmeg
- 1 Pack of feta cheese
- 5 peppercorns
- 100g Strong cheddar cheese
- 50g Parmesan finely grated.
- 75g Butter
- 2 eggs.
- 40g plain flour or rice flour if GF
Wash the lentils thoroughly and par-boil them for 10 minutes in salted water. While boiling, peel and slice aubergines approx 1 cm thick. Brush both sides of aubergine with olive oil and bake for 10 mins each side at oven temperature 180°C. This may have to be done in batches.
Meanwhile peel, slice the potatoes into rounds and par-boil for 7-8 mins - make sure they don’t get too soft and break up. Once done, place them into a mixing bowl, coat with olive oil, seasoning and 2 tablespoons of the oregano and place on to a baking tray to roast for 15-20 minutes at 200°C. Again, this will have to be done in batches.
Once the lentils are cooked, drain and set to one side. Fry the onions and the garlic in olive oil, add rosemary and the last tablespoon of oregano. Sweat until onions are soft. Turn up the heat and add the wine, allow to bubble and boil away until it is reduced to a thick sauce consistency - wait until it is jammy to make sure it is cooked off - then add the chickpeas, lentils, bay leaves, cinnamon, tomatoes and stock. Season with salt and pepper and allow to simmer for around 50 minutes to one hour. Make a roux with the flour and butter by melting the butter, adding the flour to make a sticky paste and then add milk gradually while whisking the mixture over a medium heat. Once done, add the nutmeg stir in well. When the sauce is made crumble in one-third of the feta, the grated strong cheddar and Parmesan whisking throughout the process until the sauce is smooth. Then allow it to cool and whisk in the eggs.
To assemble your moussaka, spoon half the ragù over the tray of roast potatoes and layer half the aubergines on top, then repeat with the remaining ragù and aubergines. Gently pour the sauce onto the aubergines in an even layer. Crumble and grate the remaining cheese on top, followed by a drizzle of oil, then place in the oven for 40 minutes on a 170°C, or until golden and bubbling. Leave to cool for around 10 minutes, then serve alongside a Greek salad.
If you like batch cooking but are short of simple recipes and a method for batch cooking, then check out my online course, Nutritionally Balanced Dinners Made Simple.