Reconstructed Moussaka – a.k.a Stuffed Aubergine

This is my version of moussaka (you can serve it with or without potatoes) and it’s really, really good. I used my gorgeous violet aubergine that I bought at Oerlikon market.

table full of food. cauliflower, peas, tomatoes.

violet aubergine

I minced my own lamb for the filling. We had a boned shoulder that had been in the freezer for a while, so I converted it into mince using my incredible Kenwood Chef Major (more about that in a future post). Minced lamb from your butcher is also fine (it’s just not as common here in Switzerland).chopped up shoulder of lamb

lamb being minced

You can serve it with potatoes for the full moussaka experience, or a crisp, green salad like we did (it is very filling)

* To make tomato sauce, I fry a very finely chopped onion, carrot and stick of celery in olive oil until soft (about 10 minutes). Add a tin of tomatoes or jar of tomato passata and a tsp. of honey, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Then add seasoning to taste. This can be the basis for pasta sauces, pizza topping etc. It also freezes very well, and can be defrosted quickly

Reconstructed Moussaka

Serves 4

stuffed aubergine

Ingredients

  • 2 aubergines
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 large red pepper, chopped
  • 1½ tsp. freshly ground cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. smoked sweet paprika (tricky to find in Zürich but I tracked it down to Jelmoli. It’s definitely worth buying)
  • large pinch crushed, dried chillis
  • 500g lamb mince
  • 6 tbsp. tomato sauce*
  • 100g manchego cheese (or another hard, mild cheese)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/ 200°C conventional/ gas mark 6
  2. Cut each aubergine lengthways across the stalk. Score the flesh in a criss-cross pattern (see picture) taking care not to pierce the skin. Place on baking tray and drizzle each half with ½ tbsp. of olive oil, season with salt and bake for 30-40 minutes (until soft but not browned)halved aubergine, criss-crossed with olive oil
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, red pepper and spices and fry gently for 10 minutes. Add the lamb mince and fry for 3 – 4 minutes or until the meat is browned. Stir in the tomato sauces and simmer for about 5 minutes
  4. Remove the aubergines from the oven and increase the temperature to 200°C fan/220°C conventional/ gas mark 7. Carefully scoop the flesh out of the aubergine, being careful not to damage the skin. Stir the scooped-out flesh into the lamb mixture and add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the mixture into the aubergine, grate the manchego over the top and put in the oven for 8-10 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown
  5. We had some lamb mixture leftover and had it on nachos the next day with guacamole and tomato salsa. It was an incredible combination!

 

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