Greek Moussaka With Potatoes

Greek moussaka with potatoes

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  • Total: 2 hrs 30 mins
  • Prep: 60 mins
  • Cook: 90 mins
  • Cooling Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 1 casserole (8 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
1181 Calories
40g Fat
149g Carbs
62g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 casserole (8 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 1181
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 40g 51%
Saturated Fat 16g 81%
Cholesterol 148mg 49%
Sodium 399mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 149g 54%
Dietary Fiber 21g 75%
Protein 62g
Calcium 322mg 25%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

In Greek: μουσακάς πατάτες, say: moo-sah-KAS pah-TAH-tes

Moussaka with potatoes is a terrific choice both for those who don't care for the well-known version with eggplant, and also when eggplant is not in season. Like all moussaka dishes, this is a layered dish of sliced potatoes, a meat sauce, cheese, and a creamy béchamel sauce.

Ingredients

  • For the Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 1/2 pounds of ground beef (or lamb)
  • 3 cups of chopped ripe tomatoes with juice (or canned tomatoes)​
  • 1/2 cup of finely ground toasted breadcrumbs
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon or a small stick (break off around 1 inch long)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ground allspice
  • 6 to 8 whole cloves
  • 1/2 cup of red wine
  • 3 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • For the Bechamel:
  • 6 cups whole milk
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 15 tablespoons all-purpose flour Redirect check for this link timed out! Refresh this page to try again.
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Nutmeg, to taste
  • 3 to 9 egg yolks, beaten with a fork
  • For the Casserole:
  • 5 to 6 pounds of potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1/2 cup of finely ground toasted breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup of grated kefalotyri cheese (or pecorino or Parmigiano Reggiano)

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this Greek dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the Sauce

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat the frying pan or skillet over low heat.

  3. When the pan is hot, add 2 tablespoons of oil and increase the heat to medium-low.

  4. Using a wooden spoon, sauté the onions until translucent.

  5. Add the meat and continue to sauté until lightly browned. Add tomatoes, 1/2 the breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, garlic, cinnamon, bay leaves, allspice, cloves, wine, and tomato paste, and mix well.

  6. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed, about 45 minutes to an hour. Note: If there is still liquid in the pan, continue to simmer uncovered, stirring to prevent sticking, until the mixture is as dry as possible. To prevent the final dish from having too much moisture, this step is crucial.

  7. When dry, discard the bay leaves, cloves, and cinnamon stick (if used), and set sauce aside uncovered until ready to use.

Make the Bechamel

  1. While the sauce is simmering, make the bechamel. Start by gathering the ingredients.

  2. In a large saucepan, heat the milk over medium-low heat until hot.

  3. In another large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. As soon as it melts, add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until there are no lumps.

  4. Increase the heat to medium-low and add the hot milk slowly, stirring constantly with a whisk, and continue stirring until the sauce begins to thicken; it should be creamy without being too thick.

  5. Remove from the heat and stir in salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir in the egg yolks one at a time, until the desired color is reached.

  6. Return to the heat, whisking briskly until well blended. Remove from the heat and set aside until ready to use.

To Make the Casserole

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Sauté the potato slices until lightly browned.

  3. Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C). Lightly oil a large baking or roasting pan and sprinkle the bottom with the remaining breadcrumbs.

  4. Place a layer of potato slices on the breadcrumbs (it's ok to overlap) and spread the meat mixture evenly on top.

  5. Cover with the remaining potato slices, and carefully pour the béchamel sauce evenly over the top.

  6. Bake for 30 minutes, then sprinkle the cheese over the top and continue to cook for another 15 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.

  7. Remove the moussaka from the oven and allow to cool for 20 to 30 minutes. Moussaka is traditionally eaten warm, not hot, can also be eaten at room temperature, and is great on the second day.

Tips

  • Moussaka is traditionally served in very large pieces and it is a heavy dish. Serve with a green salad, crusty bread, and a dry red wine. If anyone has room for dessert, a fruit sorbet or cheese with fruit is a light way to end on a sweet note.
  • In Greece, Moussaka is most often made with ground beef.
  • Moussaka can be prepared up to the béchamel and refrigerated overnight. The next day, add the sauce and cook. It can also be completely cooked and cooled, then frozen. Defrost completely and reheat.