Suggested wines:

Ned & Henry’s - Hewitson

Church Block - Wirra Wirra

Shiraz/Grenache - Ken Forrester


Ingredients:

extra virgin olive oil, for cooking
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
500 g minced lamb
1x1 cm piece cinnamon stick, pounded
sea salt
½ cup red wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup tomato sauce
2 tablespoons chopped lemon thyme
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
3 medium-sized eggplants (aubergines),
cut into 1.5-2 cm thick slices
sea salt

Béchamel sauce

50 g unsalted butter
50 g plain flour
1 cup milk (full-cream is best)
1 cup chicken stock
pinch of freshly grated or ground nutmeg
- sea salt and freshly ground
white pepper
2 tablespoons grated
Parmigiano Reggiano

Crust

¼ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
¼ cup fresh breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons finely chopped lemon thyme
1 tablespoon rinsed and finely chopped
preserved lemon rind

Serves 6

Heat a splash of olive oil in a large sauce pan over low heat and sauté onion for 5 minutes, then add garlic and cook for another 5 minutes. Push onion and garlic to one side of the pan, then brown lamb with cinnamon in batches over high heat and season with salt. Return all meat to the pan, add wine, tomato paste and tomato sauce, then stir
to combine and bring to the boil. Add lemon thyme and lemon zest and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, for the béchamel sauce, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle over flour, stirring well to combine, then cook for another few minutes or until flour colours slightly. Remove from the heat and slowly pour in milk and then stock, whisking continuously to prevent any lumps forming.
Return to the heat and stir with a wooden spoon for another 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Add nutmeg, then season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in Parmigiano Reggiano. Cover the surface of the sauce closely with plastic film to stop a skin from forming and set aside until needed.

Brush eggplant with olive oil, then cook on a hot char-grill pan over high heat until golden on both sides.

Preheat fan-forced oven to 200 C (400 F)

Lightly grease a 1 litre baking dish with olive oil. Place a layer of eggplant in the base of dish, then a layer of lamb mixture, and repeating the layering process until all the eggplant and lamb mixture are used, finishing wit a layer of eggplant. Pour the béchamel sauce over the eggplant.

For the crust, mix together all the ingredients and generously sprinkle the mixture over béchamel. (This dish can be frozen at this stage, then baked later.)

Bake lamb moussaka for 30 minutes or until the top is golden. Serve at once.

Source: Maggie’s Kitchen, ed. Lantern (Penguin Goup), Australia, 2008