Moussaka is a classic Greek dish that is sure to please any crowd. This hearty dish is made with layers of eggplant, beef, and a creamy béchamel sauce. Follow this step-by-step guide to make the perfect beef moussaka.
Step 1: Prepare the Eggplant
Start by preheating your oven to 375°F. Slice the eggplant into 1/4-inch thick slices and place them on a baking sheet. Brush the eggplant slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the eggplant is tender.
Step 2: Prepare the Beef
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add 1 pound of ground beef and cook until it is browned. Add 1/2 cup of diced onion, 1/2 cup of diced bell pepper, 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, 1 teaspoon of dried basil, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Step 3: Make the Béchamel Sauce
In a medium saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add 4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and whisk until combined. Slowly add 2 cups of milk, whisking constantly. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.
Step 4: Assemble the Moussaka
Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter. Layer the bottom of the dish with half of the eggplant slices. Top with the beef mixture and spread evenly. Layer the remaining eggplant slices on top. Pour the béchamel sauce over the top and spread evenly. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.
Step 5: Bake the Moussaka
Bake the moussaka in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
How to Layer the Perfect Beef Moussaka
Moussaka is a classic Greek dish that is sure to please any crowd. Layering the perfect beef moussaka requires a few simple steps.
First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Next, prepare the ingredients for the moussaka. This includes 1 pound of ground beef, 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 can of diced tomatoes, 1 teaspoon of oregano, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, 1/2 cup of red wine, 1/2 cup of beef broth, 1/2 cup of bread crumbs, 1/4 cup of olive oil, and 2 cups of grated cheese.
Once the ingredients are prepared, begin layering the moussaka. Start by heating the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and onion and cook until the beef is browned and the onion is softened. Add the garlic, tomatoes, oregano, cinnamon, salt, and pepper and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the red wine and beef broth and simmer for 10 minutes.
Next, spread the beef mixture in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the beef mixture and top with the grated cheese.
Finally, bake the moussaka in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Allow the moussaka to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Tips and Tricks for Making the Best Beef Moussaka
1. Start by preparing the beef filling. Use lean ground beef and season it with salt, pepper, and oregano. Brown the beef in a skillet over medium-high heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Once the beef is cooked through, drain off any excess fat and set aside.
2. For the eggplant layer, slice the eggplant into thin rounds and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add a few tablespoons of olive oil. Working in batches, add the eggplant slices to the skillet and cook until golden brown on both sides. Transfer the cooked eggplant to a plate and set aside.
3. To make the béchamel sauce, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until combined. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly until the sauce is thick and creamy. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
4. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray.
5. To assemble the moussaka, spread a layer of the beef filling in the bottom of the baking dish. Top with a layer of eggplant slices, followed by a layer of béchamel sauce. Repeat the layers until all of the ingredients are used up, ending with a layer of béchamel sauce.
6. Bake the moussaka for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and bubbly. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
What to Serve with Beef Moussaka
Beef Moussaka is a hearty and flavorful dish that is sure to please any crowd. To complete the meal, serve it with a side of steamed vegetables, such as green beans, carrots, or broccoli. A light and refreshing salad is also a great accompaniment, such as a Greek salad with feta cheese, olives, and cucumbers. For a starch, a simple side of roasted potatoes or a pilaf of rice and herbs would be a great addition. Finally, a glass of red wine or a light beer would be the perfect way to round out the meal.