The ultimate makeover: Moussaka
- Preparation and cooking time
- More effort
- Serves 6
- 2½ tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion , chopped
- 2 plump garlic cloves , finely chopped
- 2 large carrots (350g total weight), diced
- 450g 5% fat minced beef
- 100ml white wine
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon , plus extra
- ¼ tsp ground allspice
- 400g can plum tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 1heaped tbsp chopped oregano leaves
- 2 good handfuls chopped flat-leaf parsley , plus extra to garnish
- 3 aubergines (about 750g/1lb 10oz total weight), ends trimmed
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
For the topping
- halved cherry tomatoes and thinly sliced red onion and rocket salad
- STEP 1
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large, wide sauté pan. Tip in the onion and garlic, then fry for 6-8 mins until turning golden. Add the carrots and fry for 2 mins more. Stir the meat into the pan, breaking it up as you stir. Cook and stir over a high heat until the meat is no longer pink. Pour in the wine and briefly cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the cinnamon and allspice. Tip in the tomatoes, tomato purée and 1 tbsp water (mixed with any juices left in the can), then stir to break up the tomatoes. Season with some pepper, add all the oregano and half the parsley, cover, then simmer on a low heat for 50 mins, stirring occasionally. Season to taste. Mix in the remaining parsley. Can be done a day ahead and refrigerated overnight.
- STEP 2
While the meat cooks (unless you are doing this a day ahead) prepare the aubergines. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/ gas 6. Brush a little of the remaining oil onto 2 large baking sheets. Mix the rest of the oil with the lemon juice. Slice the aubergines into 1cm thick lengthways slices, then lay them on the oiled baking sheets. Brush with the oil and lemon mix, then season with pepper. Bake for 20-25 mins until soft, then set aside. Lower oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.
- STEP 3
Spread 2 big spoonfuls of the meat mixture on the bottom of an ovenproof dish (about 28 x 20 x 6cm deep). Lay the aubergine slices on top, slightly overlapping. Spoon the rest of the meat mixture on top. Beat the eggs in a bowl. Slacken the cornflour with a little of the yogurt, stir in the rest of the yogurt, then mix this into the eggs with half the cheese. Season with pepper. Pour and spread this over the meat to cover it. Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese, a little cinnamon and a grating of pepper. Bake for 50 mins-1 hr until bubbling and golden.
- STEP 4
Leave moussaka to settle for 8-10 mins, then scatter over some chopped parsley and cut into squares. Serve with a salad of tomato, red onion and rocket.