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Mussaka—Eggplant and Lamb CasseroleIngredients:
4 small eggplants
Several pinches salt
Oil for frying
Add the lamb. Stir over medium heat until the lamb crumbles and loses its pink color. Add the tomato purée, tomato paste, cinnamon, oregano, sugar, salt, wine, clove and pepper and cook until almost all of the liquid is absorbed, approximately 15 minutes. Stir in the parsley and set aside.
Prepare the sauce: Melt the butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook, while continuously stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the milk while stirring and cook until it becomes a thick, smooth sauce. Remove the saucepan from the heat and mix in the eggs, cheese and nutmeg.
Assemble the mussaka: Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Oil an oven-proof casserole. Arrange 1/3 of the eggplant slices on the bottom of the dish. Pour 1/2 of the meat over the eggplant. Cover the meat with another 1/3 of the eggplant. Cover the second layer of eggplant with the remainder of the meat. Cover the meat with the rest of the eggplant. Pour the sauce over the casserole. Bake until golden brown, for about 1 hour. (Cover the casserole with aluminum foil if it browns too quickly). Let the mussaka rest for 15 minutes before serving.
Recipe provided by Anthony Dias Blue and GourmetMarket.com.
Tasting Notes—December 1998