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Chef Joyce's Moussaka

Chef Joyce's Moussaka


Meat Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 large white onions, diced 
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp salt plus more to taste


  • 1 large eggplant (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, sliced into 1/2" rounds
  • ¼ cup olive oil

Yogurt Custard Topping:

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Meat Sauce:

  1. Heat olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. 
  2. Add ground beef and chopped onion and cook until beef is brown, breaking up beef with fork, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and rosemary and cook until fragrant. Mix in tomato sauce, red wine, crumbled oregano , ground cinnamon and nutmeg. Salt to taste. 
  4. Simmer until mixture thickens and is almost dry, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover tightly and refrigerate.)


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 F. 
  2. While meat sauce is cooking, cook eggplant.
  3. Lay a sheet of parchment on a baking sheet.
  4. Brush the eggplant slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Arrange eggplant on baking sheet, avoiding overlap.
  6. Roast until golden brown, flip and roast the other side (about 15 minutes/side).

Yogurt Topping & Final Assembly:

  1. Beat yogurt, flour, eggs and ½ cup parmesan cheese together well, reserving ½ cup parmesan.
  2. Lower oven to  to 375 F.
  3. Grease a 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. 
  4. Arrange half of eggplant in bottom of dish. Spread meat mixture over.
  5. Top with remaining eggplant.
  6. Pour yogurt custard  over eggplant.
  7. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan. 
  8. Cover loosely with foil and bake 1 hour.
  9. Uncover and continue baking until golden and bubbling on edges, about 10 minutes longer.
  10. Cool 10 minutes to allow moussaka to settle.
  11. Serve with a big green salad.

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