I remember back when I was a kid that lamb was cheap. The usual Sunday roast was a leg of lamb studded with garlic and rosemary accompanied by a lovely mint sauce and there were always lamb chops or cutlets on the menu. Not anymore. I read somewhere recently that Australia is now the most expensive country in the world and with the humble chop being around $22 /kg at the local supermarket and a cutlet at $30 /kg or over its no wonder we never bloody eat it. Thank goodness you can still get lamb mince at $10/kg so I have been making lamb koftas and moussaka to satisfy my lamb cravings!
. 500g lamb mince
. 1 brown onion, finely diced
. Olive oil
. 1 tspn garlic powder
. 1/2 tspn cinnamon
. 1/2 tspn allspice
. Large pinch sea salt
. 1 tbsp tomato paste
. 400 ml tin diced tomatoes
. 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
. 1 large eggplant, sliced into .5cm rounds
. 2/3 cup Greek yogurt
. 1 egg, beaten
. 50 g goats cheese, crumbled
. Parmesan cheese, to grate over top
1. Sauté onion in olive oil until soft and translucent. Add lamb and cook until browned, stirring frequently. Drain lamb mixture of excess oil in a sieve and return to fry pan.
2. Sprinkle over garlic powder and mix in tomato paste, tinned tomatoes and then add half a tin full of water to the pan. Add spices and season to taste.
3. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until you have a rich, thick sauce. Add in parsley and turn off pan.
4. Meanwhile, brush eggplant slices with olive oil and grill in a very hot oven for 5 min per side.
5. To assemble oil a 20cm x 20cm dish and spoon in approximately 1/4 of the meat sauce.
6. Layer over half of the eggplant slices and then top with half of the remaining meat sauce. Repeat.
7. Beat the egg with the yogurt and goats cheese and pour over the top. Grate over the Parmesan cheese and bake in a very hot oven at 200*C for 30 – 40 min until golden and bubbling.
This was outstanding with a simple green salad.
I made this dish the other day for friends but made one version with just the goats cheese sprinkled over and not with the Greek yogurt as my lovely friend is avoiding cows milk for the present. Even with a little scattering of soft goats cheese over the top I found the dish very satisfying. And I got to use the fresh parsley from my herb garden which is always a thrill. Ah, it’s the simple things hey?
This is the first time I’ve recorded my moussaka recipe down so I’m excited that I won’t have to rack my brain and improvise next time! Woo hoo!