01273 323199 email

Tips for parents, and the latest news

Winter Menu – our moussaka recipe

Moussaka ingredients

We’ve recently introduced our winter menu 2013/14 and thought we’d share one of our new dishes (suggested by one of our parents) from the menu with you.

Moussaka is an aubergine and/or potato based dish popular in Balkan and Mediterranean cuisines, with many local and regional variations. Most versions are based primarily on sautéed aubergine and tomato, usually with minced meat. The Greek version includes layers of meat and aubergine topped with a béchamel (white) sauce, and baked.

For our menu we’ve adapted a recipe by The Hairy Bikers. We substituted lamb for beef mince and omitted the red wine but the result is just as good. David Myers’s dancing may not be up to scratch but he knows how to make tasty moussaka. We’re sure the children are going to love it!

Here’s the recipe:

Preparation time: 30 minutes / Cooking time: 1-2 hours  Serves: 6

​​2 aubergines, cut into 1cm/½in slices
​​​​750g/1lb 10½oz beef mince
​​1 onion, finely chopped
​​2 garlic cloves, crushed
​​1 tsp dried oregano
​​1½ tsp dried mint
​​2 bay leaves
​​1tsp cinnamon powder
​​1 tbsp plain flour
​​​​1 x 400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes
​​2 tbsp tomato purée
​​7 tbsp olive oil
​​500g/1lb 2oz potatoes, peeled, sliced into 1cm/½in slices
Ground black pepper

For the white sauce:
​​50g/2oz butter
​​50g/2oz plain flour
​​400ml/14fl oz milk
​​1 tsp finely grated nutmeg
​​25g/1oz finely grated parmesan
​​1 free-range egg, beaten

Preparation method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
  • Put the mince, onions, garlic, oregano, mint, bay leaves and cinnamon in a large heavy-based frying pan and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the meat.
  • Stir in the flour, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Add the tomatoes, a little tomato purée and bring to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the beef is tender and the sauce has thickened. Season to taste.
  • Heat three tablespoons of the oil in a heavy-based frying pan and sauté the aubergines for 2-3 minutes on each side, adding more oil when necessary. Remove from the pan and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.
  • Cook the potatoes in boiling water for five minutes, then drain in a colander under running water until cold.
  • For the white sauce, melt the butter in a large saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook for a few seconds, then gradually stir in the milk. Add half the parmesan and the grated nutmeg. Simmer the sauce gently for 4-5 minutes, stirring regularly. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.
  • Take the saucepan off the heat and quickly stir in the beaten egg. Cover the surface of the sauce with clingfilm to prevent a skin forming.
  • Spoon one third of the meat sauce into a large, shallow ovenproof dish. Cover with a layer of potatoes and a layer of aubergines. Repeat the layers twice more, finishing with the aubergines. Pour over the white sauce, making sure it covers in a thick, even layer. Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, or until deep golden-brown and bubbling.

Bon appetit!

Posted on 26/11/2013 in Recipes