By Katerina Giannou
Lemon & Origan Taverna. Kos Marina. July 2016
This traditional, hearty Greek delight will leave you satisfied with its authentic taste and texture.
Cut 3 or 4 thick slices from an Aubergine. Thoroughly salt both sides or each piece. Leave on a plate for over half hour, then soak in a bowl of water for 2 hours, dry and deep fry. Reserve
Fry ground Beef (never Pork or Lamb!) in very hot olive oil. When nearly cooked add chopped onion, then garlic, then fresh chopped tomatoes, a little water, pepper, a little salt, cinnamon stick, clove, bay leaf. (No oregano or thyme!) . Reserve.
Slice 1 cm thick, deep fry and salt after dried. Reserve.
In very hot Sunflower oil about one cm deep add 2 desert spoons of Fitini butter (Palm and Cotton seed oil based) or clarified butter . Add 6 spoons of flour. Stir vigorously and then 3 spoons of sugar before the flour gets yellow. Take off heat.
Warm to about 63* (very warm but not boiling) 1 Litre of whole milk. Take off heat. Whisk 3 whole eggs. Drop a little of the milk in the whisked eggs, stir together making sure it does not curdle and add to the warmed milk. Add salt, 150 grams of Graviera (nutty cheese), nutmeg and black pepper. Reserve.
Grease an oven tray big enough for 4 good size Moussakas about 4 cms high with Fitini butter. Now layer in this order.
Potatoes, sprinkle Misithra or similar cheese, Aubergine, cheese, Meat, cheese, Topping, cheese and some bread crumbs.
Bake in oven until the topping starts to brown.
To make a 12 portion catering oven tray (about 30 by 30 cms) triple the amounts used.