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Meat sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1kg ground lean beef or lamb
500g ripe tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup white wine
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
salt and freshly ground pepper


3-4 medium eggplants and olive oil

Béchamel Sauce

90g butter
5 tablespoons plain flour
3 cups milk
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ cup grated Romano or parmesan cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
salt and pepper


Meat sauce: place oil and onion in a large saucepan and cook on medium heat until softened. Add garlic, cook a few seconds, and then add minced meat. Increase heat and cook, stirring often, until colour changes.

Tomatoes: halve and squeeze out some of the seeds. With grater in a bowl, and using shredder side, grate cut side of tomatoes down to the skin. Discard skins.

Add tomatoes and remaining meat sauce ingredients to saucepan. Season to taste and simmer gently, stirring regularly, on low heat for 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, wash eggplants, remove stems and cut into 5mm slices. Place a layer of eggplant slices on a baking tray, brush each side with oil and cook under a pre-heated grill until lightly browned on each side. Remove to a plate and continue with remaining eggplant. Do this while meat sauce is cooking.
Béchamel sauce: melt butter in a heavy saucepan, stir in flour and cook gently for 2 minutes. Add milk all at once, stirring constantly with a balloon whisk until boiling. Boil gently for 2 minutes, remove from heat, stir in nutmeg, a quarter of the cheese and season to taste. Cover surface of sauce with plastic wrap if not required immediately.

Assembly: Brush a 20 x 30 cm x 6cm oven dish with oil. Place a layer of eggplant in the base, top with half the meat sauce, add another layer of eggplant, remaining meat sauce and finish with eggplant.
Remove plastic wrap from béchamel sauce and whisk in the eggs. Pour sauce over eggplant, spreading evenly. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and bake in pre-heated moderate oven, 180ºC (fan-forced) for 45-50 minutes until top is golden brown.

Stand moussaka for 5 minutes before cutting into squares to serve.
(Serves 8)