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Greek comfort food at its best! Layers of eggplant and lamb are covered with creamy bechamel sauce and then baked until bubbly and golden in this leftover lamb moussaka. | justalittlebitofbacon.com
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Leftover Greek Lamb Moussaka

Greek comfort food at its best! Layers of eggplant and lamb are covered with creamy bechamel sauce and then baked until bubbly and golden in this leftover lamb moussaka.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Greek
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 450kcal
Author Just a Little Bit of Bacon

Ingredients

Eggplant

  • 3 lb eggplant, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1-2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 tbsp olive oil

Leftover Lamb Sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb cooked lamb, finely diced
  • 1 14-oz can whole tomatoes, pureed
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano, or 1 tbsp fresh
  • pinch cinnamon, allspice, and cayenne
  • kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • 1/2 cup red wine

Bechamel Sauce

  • 3 cups low fat milk, 1% or 2%
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 6 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

Eggplant

  • Toss the sliced eggplant with salt and let it sit for 1 hour in a colander.
  • Preheat oven to 450F. Give the eggplant a quick rinse, then blot it dry and toss with the olive oil. Spread out the eggplant in a single layer on greased baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the eggplant over and bake for 10 more minutes. The eggplant will be wilted and lightly browned.

Leftover Lamb Meat Sauce

  • While the eggplant is salting, make the meat sauce. Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large skillet. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 7-10 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent. Add all the rest of the meat sauce ingredients - lamb, tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, cinnamon, allspice, cayenne, salt, pepper, brandy, and wine. Taste the sauce and see if you want anymore spices and add a dash or two accordingly.
  • Bring the meat sauce to a simmer and cook it down until the sauce fairly dry and not soupy. This will take about 20 minutes.

Bechamel Sauce

  • Next, make the bechamel. You will need 3 cups of bechamel.
  • Heat the milk until steaming in a medium saucepan. In another medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Let the flour cook for 1 minute. Add the steaming milk and whisk constantly as you bring the sauce to a simmer. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, until quite thick and smooth.
  • Take the sauce off the heat and, while whisking constantly, ladle some of the sauce into the bowl with the egg yolks. Add about 1 cup of the hot bechamel to the eggs. Then pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan. Add the salt, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of the parmesan cheese to the sauce and stir to combine.

Assembling and Baking the Moussaka

  • Preheat the oven to 400F. Grease a 9x13 casserole dish, or similar size.
  • Layer 1/3 of the eggplant, then 1/3 of the meat sauce, then 2 tbsp of the parmesan cheese in the casserole dish. Make two more layers of 1/3, 1/3 and 2 tbsp. Ladle the bechamel sauce over into an even coating on the top. Sprinkle over any remaining cheese. Bake the moussaka for 1 hour. Let the moussaka cool for 10-15 minutes, then cut and serve.

Notes

  • While I developed this recipe to use up leftover lamb roast, you can switch to ground lamb. Add the ground lamb once the onions are soft but before you add the rest of the ingredients and cook it until it's no longer pink. You may want to drain off the fat at this point since ground lamb tends to be rather fatty.
  • I would recommend salting the eggplants even if you are using small ones which aren't bitter. The salting removes much of the water in the eggplants. This is important in a casserole!
  • If you want your moussaka to be very dry and not have any liquid in the bottom, add a layer of dry breadcrumbs to the bottom before you start layering.
  • While I call for parmesan (since it is widely available in the US), the analogous Greek cheese is kefalotiri. If you can find kefalotiri, definitely use it. It will add that extra Greek flavor to the moussaka.
  • The moussaka can be partially made ahead. Make all the layers and then refrigerate them separately overnight. When you are ready to cook, preheat the oven and layer everything up in the casserole dish.
  • You'll need at least 3/4 pound of the leftover lamb. 1 pound makes for a substantial meat sauce, but 3/4 works fine as well.

Nutrition

Calories: 450kcal