Moussaka for a Crowd
Serves: 20Hands-on: 45 minutesTotal: 2 hours 5 minutesDifficulty: Medium
- 5 large eggplants, about 1 1⁄2 lbs. each, sliced into 1⁄2-inch rounds
- 2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. salt, divided
- 10 Tbsp. butter, divided
- 3 lbs. ground lamb
- 1 1⁄2 cups chopped onion
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1⁄4 cup chopped parsley
- 1⁄2 cup red wine
- 1⁄2 tsp. ground black pepper, divided
- 1⁄2 cup water
- 1⁄8 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1⁄2 cup bread crumbs, divided
- 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups hot whole milk
- 1⁄8 tsp. grated nutmeg
- 3 large eggs, slightly beaten
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- Sprinkle eggplant rounds with 2 tablespoons salt, and let stand in a colander under a heavy or weighted plate for 30 minutes. Rinse and dry eggplant rounds.
- Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; sauté meat and onion until browned, about 10 minutes. Add tomato paste, parsley, wine, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper, and water. Simmer until liquid has been absorbed. Cool. Stir in cinnamon, 1⁄2 cup cheese, and 1⁄4 cup bread crumbs. Set aside.
- Melt 6 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add flour and stir until well blended. Remove from heat and gradually stir in milk. Return to heat and cook, stirring, until sauce is thick and smooth. Add nutmeg and remaining salt and pepper. Stir eggs into the sauce and cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Preheat the broiler. Lightly brush the eggplant slices with oil on both sides. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and broil until lightly browned. Set aside to cool. Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Sprinkle a 10-by-16-inch pan with the remaining 1⁄4 cup bread crumbs. Place a layer of eggplant slices on the bread crumbs, then spread the meat mixture over the eggplant slices. Cover the meat with the remaining eggplant. Spoon the sauce over the eggplant; sprinkle with the remaining 1⁄2 cup grated cheese. Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes before cutting. Serve warm.