Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Paleo Moussaka

Moussaka is an eggplant based dish commonly made in the Balkans, the Mediterranean and the Middle East.  The best known variation is make in Greece where it is traditionally made with lamb.  You can use lamb or ground beef in my version and the result will be delicious every time.

Don't be put off by the long list of ingredients.  This is basically a casserole and comes together very quickly. If this amount is too much for your family, you might want to divide it among several foil pans that you can freeze, then just pop into the oven to cook when you need them.

Ingredients :

-  2 large eggplants
-  olive oil for sautéing
-  2 cloves of garlic, minced
-  2 chopped onions
-  1 lb. of ground lamb or ground beef
-  2 tablespoons of tomato paste
-  1/2 cup of red wine
-  1/4 cup chopped parsley
-  1/2 teaspoon oregano
-  1 teaspoon cinnamon
-  1 teaspoon coconut sugar, maple syrup or honey
-  sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
-  1/2 cup of fine breadcrumbs (toast a few slices of Paleo bread, let cool, then process in your food processor or coffee grinder.)
-  1/4 cup butter
-  1 cup of heavy cream
-  1 cup of water
-  2 slightly beaten eggs
-  1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
-  1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions :
  • Preheat your oven to 350'F
  • Slice the unpeeled eggplants into 1/4 inch rounds, place on a baking pan and cook for 15 or 20 minutes.  Alternatively, if you have access to a barbecue you can use that.
  • Meanwhile add some olive oil to a skillet and saute the garlic, onion and ground meat until the meat is browned.
  • Stir in the tomato paste, wine, parsley, oregano, cinnamon, sweetener and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Simmer until the liquid has nearly evaporated, then stir in the bread crumbs.
  • Place a layer of eggplant slices in the bottom of a deep casserole dish.  Spread with a layer of meat sauce. Alternate layers until all the ingredients are used, ending with a layer of eggplant.
  • In a saucepan, melt the butter then add the cream, water and nutmeg and heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Add the slightly beaten eggs and mix well.  Pour this custard mixture over the casserole, allowing it to penetrate sides and lower layers.
  • Sprinkle the top with the grated Parmesan and bake 35 to 40 minutes.

 “Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”   - George Bernard Shaw

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