Moussaka is one of our favorite dishes and I make it quite often. But it’s a lot of work and after spending the entire weekend at a continuing education course, I just didn’t feel like putting in that much effort. This dish was the perfect compromise. All the delicious flavors in a fraction of the time. This recipe is also a more low-carb version as it eliminates the potatoes and the bechamel sauce (which is made with wheat flour). This dish might just become our new “moussaka”…
Lamb and Eggplant Gratin with North African Spices
- 1 large eggplant, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
- Olive oil
- 2 pounds ground lamb
- 1 tablespoon raw milk butter
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons cumin
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 cup raw milk feta, crumbled
- 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
What to do:
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with olive oil and arrange the slices on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.
Meanwhile, heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat and add the lamb. Break up the lamb with a large spoon or spatula and cook until browned. Transfer the lamb to a bowl, draining the liquid from the saute pan. Melt the butter in the saute pan and add the onions. Saute for 3-4 minutes before adding the garlic. Continue to saute for another minute. Add in the spices (cumin, cinnamon, allspice, red pepper flakes) and the salt and pepper. Saute for another minute before adding the lamb back to the pan. Stir to combine the ingredients. Add the tomatoes and 1 cup of water. Bring the sauce to a boil and let it simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, allowing it to reduce and thicken.
While the sauce is reducing, make the topping by combining the feta, walnuts, parsley, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a bowl.
To assemble the gratin, spread 1 cup of the meat sauce in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Cover with half of the eggplant slices. Sprinkle with half of the feta mixture. Cover with half of the remaining meat sauce and then arrange the other half of the eggplant slices over the meat. Spread the remaining meat sauce over the top of the eggplant and then sprinkle the remainder of the feta mixture over the top. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the topping is lightly browned. Let the gratin rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Yield 6 servings.
Recipe adapted from Gratins by Tina Salter.