Eggplant Moussaka Recipe
prep time: 15 minutes |
cook time: 60 minutes |
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, ghee, or coconut oil, divided
1 medium white onion, diced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 pound ground lamb or beef
fine sea salt and ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 large eggplant
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 (13 1/2-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk, divided
1/4 cup arrowroot flour
1 large egg, beaten
When making a white sauce, be sure to dissolve the thickener in liquid away from heat before adding it to the pan. Otherwise, it will clump and not have the desired smooth texture.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch square baking dish.
Melt 1 tablespoon of the fat in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the ground meat, a pinch of salt and pepper, and the cinnamon to the pan. Break up the meat with a spatula while continuing to cook until browned, about 8 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the tomato paste with 1 cup of water and mix well. Add the diluted tomato paste to the meat mixture and stir until well combined. Transfer the meat sauce mixture to a large bowl and set aside. (Do not clean the skillet; you will use it shortly.)
Chop the eggplant into bite-sized pieces, leaving the skin intact. Sprinkle a pinch of salt on the eggplant. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of fat in the same skillet you used to cook the meat and sauté the eggplant over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until it is barely softened. Transfer the eggplant to the prepared baking dish. (Reserve the skillet for later use.)
Pour the meat sauce mixture evenly over the eggplant and sprinkle on the parsley.
For the white sauce: In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the coconut milk, the arrowroot flour, and a pinch of salt and pepper and stir well. Warm up the same skillet over medium heat and pour in the remaining coconut milk. When the coconut milk starts to bubble, stir in the arrowroot mixture. Stir the white sauce continuously until it begins to thicken, about 2 to 3 minutes. When it bubbles, remove the sauce from the heat and whisk in the egg until smooth and thick.
Pour the white sauce evenly over the meat and eggplant in the baking dish. Bake the casserole for 40 minutes. Turn the oven to broil for 3 to 5 minutes to get a nice golden brown color on the top.
Remove the moussaka from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes before cutting into portions and serving.