Lamb Moussaka

If you’re in the market of luxurious meats, you’re in the right place. Unlike pork having to be cooked very well, lamb is best when it’s still slightly pink, but of course it can bear longer cooking if you like your meat properly dead on your plate.

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 2 peeled and sliced carrots
  • 3 sliced celery stalks
  • 3 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 large sprig of fresh thyme
  • 1 large sprig of oregano
  • 1.5kg stewing lamb
  • 2 cans (800g) chopped tomatoes
  • 250ml white wine
  • 2 large sliced brinjals

For the béchamel

  • 60ml butter
  • 60ml flour
  • 500ml full-cream milk
  • Salt and milled pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg

Method

  1. Sauté the onions, carrots, celery and garlic. When it is nice and soft add the thyme and oregano and fry for another minute before removing it from the heat to set aside.
  2. Season the lamb place in a deep frying pan on medium heat for 30 seconds on each side then turn the heat to low.
  3. Place the onions into the deep frying pan with the lamb and add the tomatoes and white wine.
  4. Pour just enough water into the deep frying pan to cover the meat, then pop a lid on and allow to simmer gently for about 2-3 hours or until the meat is tender. If need be, at anytime add a little more water if the meat is looking a bit dry.
  5. Preheat oven to 200°C
  6. Slice brinjals just more than half way through. Be careful not to slice all the way through and pour plenty of salt over the brinjals.
  7. Turn the brinjals over so that the sliced side is against the chopping board and leave for 20-30 minutes.
  8. Before removing any gristle and bone from the lamb, allow the dish to cool.
  9. When the juices of the brinjals have run out, season and steam them until they’re tender.
  10. Melt butter in a saucepan then add flour and allow to cook for a minute. Gradually add hot milk while whisking to avoid lumps forming and whisk continuously until it becomes a smooth, thick white sauce.
  11. Season the sauce and add a pinch of nutmeg to taste.
  12. In a 30cm baking dish, arrange the lamb and brinjals in 2 layers, then cover with white sauce and grate a little nutmeg on top.
  13. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling.
  14. If you wish, grate a little bit of cheese on top.

Know-how

Slicing the brinjals, adding salt and allowing the juices to run, removes the bitterness.