At No Name Restaurant "Moussaka" is not on the Menu but could be pre-ordered for a Large group with a day in advance. I would like to share the history behind it as its the most famous dish in Greece.
The story behind the famous Greek moussaka is as rich and complex as the dish itself. Moussaka's origin is dated back to the 1920s, but its history goes much further back than that.
Moussaka is commonly believed to be a Greek dish. Many Greeks consider it their national dish, but the truth is that its origins are widely debated. Some food historians suggest that the dish is of Arab origin or that it was brought to Greece by the Turks during their occupation from the Middle East.
Regardless of its origin, it was not until the 1920s that the moussaka began to appear in Greek cookbooks. And it wasn't long after that it became a staple of kitchen tables throughout Greece.
The classic Greek moussaka is made with layers of eggplant, ground meat (usually lamb), and a creamy béchamel sauce. It's a hearty and filling dish, perfect for a cozy dinner party or family gathering.
Here is a full recipe for the classic Greek Moussaka:
- 2 large eggplants, sliced lengthwise in 1/2 inch slices
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 1 can diced tomatoes (14 oz)
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
2. Brush the eggplant slices with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes until browned and softened.
3. While the eggplant is baking, heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the lamb and cook until browned, breaking up any large chunks with a spoon. Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent. Pour in the red wine and cook until the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the diced tomatoes
In conclusion, moussaka is more than just a dish - it is a symbol of family and togetherness. Its rich history and diverse variations make it a beloved staple in Mediterranean cuisine. Whether you choose to make it with eggplant or meat, béchamel or yogurt, one thing is for sure - it always brings people together around the dinner table. So next time you're in the mood for something hearty and comforting, channel your inner Greek and try your hand at making this delicious dish. You won't be disappointed!
No Name Restaurant - Milatos, Crete, Greece