My mom’s moussaka is a family favorite for we love the cinnamon spiced meat sauce and eggplant topped with creamy cheese sauce. Tastes great over rice.
You might also like these stuffed eggplant recipe.
This week’s Sunday Supper theme is Mom’s Favorite Recipes. My mom had a lot of great recipes and as I was going through her old papers, I found a recipe for spinach pies. Just looking at that recipe made me cry because I lost her 20 years ago and I still miss her everyday.
There were three things about that piece of paper that made me cry: 1) her distinctive slanted hand writing which I will never forget 2) the date was exactly 1 year before she died and I’m guessing she felt good that summer and cooked a lot and 3) the notes she wrote to herself about what worked and what didn’t.
I always admired that trait of her’s because it’s not something I inherited. She was always very thorough and seemed to master any and all of her hobbies. So why am I’m making Mom’s Moussaka and not her spinach pies? The spinach pies were a flop. <sigh> However I have mastered this moussaka and it’s fabulous. I think everyone will love it.
My mom kept all of her recipes in a big drawer in the kitchen. Every time she saw something she liked in a newspaper or magazine, she’d cut it out and put it in that recipe drawer. When she died, we put them all in a big bag and one of us is supposed to make them into a cookbook. Someday. Someday. Anyway, this recipe was from a very old magazine page and while I don’t know who to give proper credit to, I thank you for bringing this recipe into my life.
My mom used to make this dish for special occasions or Sunday suppers. We always had a big Sunday supper where she would make things like this moussaka, a big roast, or a yummy Lebanese dish for my father. (She was born and raised here in Pittsburgh but she mastered Middle Eastern cooking.)
Once all my brothers and sisters got married and had kids we still had supper every Sunday at my parent’s house. It was great having all my nieces and nephews around, laughing and eating good food.
This moussaka consists of broiled slices of eggplant, a delicious meat sauce and a cheesy béchamel sauce. You assemble it by layering the eggplant with the meat sauce, sprinkle cheeses, add more eggplant and then top with the béchamel sauce and more cheese. Doesn’t that sound delicious!
We always eat it over holey rice which is essentially rice with turmeric in it to make it a beautiful yellow color. My husband calls it holey rice because it always has a pattern of holes when it’s done cooking. He’s a goof.
So as I type this post up I sit here with a bit of moussaka hangover. I ate a big plate for both lunch and dinner. Luckily I was smart enough to freeze the rest of it. I hope you give this a try as it’s a most delicious recipe and would be great for your next Sunday supper. Enjoy! And please scroll down to see more of our Mom’s Favorite Recipes at Sunday Supper!
- 2 eggplants, sliced in ½ inch pieces
- olive oil or cooking spray
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup onion, minced
- 1 ½ lbs ground beef
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 16 oz tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups milk
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup cheddar cheese shredded
- 2 Tablespoons seasoned bread crumbs
Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and add your eggplant slices in one layer, not touching each other. Sprinkle a bit of salt over slices and the spray with more cooking oil. You can also use olive oil to grease your cookie sheet and brush lightly on eggplant slices.
Set under the broiler for 3-5 minutes until browned. Turn over and do the other side.
When finished take them out and let cool.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
To make the meat sauce, add your butter, onions, ground beef and garlic until meat is browned.
Drain off excess grease if there is too much.
Add your tomato sauce and spices. Mix well.
Reduce heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes and then set aside.
To make the cream sauces, melt the butter then add your flour, salt and pepper.
Slowly add your milk. Mix well.
Continue mixing and let boil until it thickens. Take off heat.
In a bowl, whisk your eggs.
Add a bit of the hot cream sauce to the eggs and whisk well. Then add this mixture back to the pan and mix well. Set aside.
In a large casserole dish layer your slices of eggplant (there will be two layers so divide the cooked eggplant in half and use for each layer.)
Sprinkle 2 Tablespoons of Parmesan and cheddar cheese over the eggplant.
Mix in the 2 Tablespoons of bread crumbs into the meat sauce and mix well.
Spoon a layer of the meat sauce over the eggplant.
Sprinkle 2 more Tablespoons of Parmesan and cheddar cheese over the meat sauce.
Add the rest of the eggplant slices.
Pour the cream sauce over the whole thing and then sprinkle the rest of the cheeses.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or the top is browned. You can also set it under the broiler for a minutes at the end if you wish.
Let set for 5-10 minutes and then serve.
We like to eat it over rice.