September 3, 2017
Moussaka is the perfect food for all those who love a combination of meat and veggies. It’s traditional in the Balkans, and there are many different ways to make it. What is common to all recipes is that ingredients are layered on top of each other. A layer of this, a layer of that, and it’s done before you know it, no hassle. If you’re well prepared, moussaka is simple to make, and a good moussaka makes people come together.
Moussaka loves company, that is to say, it’s never a solitary meal. It makes for an ideal family lunch, and any leftovers are welcome for dinner.
The moussaka we’re talking about here involves potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes and ground beef. When ajvar is added to this palette of flavors and nutritious ingredients, our dish takes on a new dimension. Moussaka with ajvar is a dish you shouldn’t pass up.
500g potatoes for roasting
2 medium sized eggplants
1 large onion
300g ground beef
4-6 tbsp ajvar, to taste
500g pureed or finely diced peeled tomatoes
1 bunch of fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste
1,5 cup oil
Wash and dry eggplants. Remove the stems, and cut lengthwise into thin stripes.
Spread them alongside, sprinkle with salt, and leave for 15 minutes. Once softened, briefly sear them on both sides in a grill pan.
Use another pan to heat the oil and fry finely chopped onion and beef with some salt and pepper, until the meat browns nicely. Add in ajvar and mix thoroughly, then pour in tomatoes and chopped basil. Reduce heat, and let simmer until the sauce thickens.
Peel and wash potatoes, then cut in thin slices. Take an oiled pan, and start building your moussaka: a layer of potatoes, a layer of eggplant, a layer of meat and ajvar sauce. Alternate until you’ve used up all the ingredients. Make sure you finish with potatoes on top.
Bake in a well heated oven at 200C, for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are done and golden brown.
Served with fresh thick yoghurt or sour cream.