Moussaka Pie

November 12, 2010

from Daniel

This isn’t a recipe for someone needing instant gratification. There isn’t a lot of hands-on time involved, but the dish does take some cooking time.

1 sheet of frozen puff pastry
1 small onion sliced
olive oil
1 can Sadaf Pulp of Grilled Eggplant
alleppo pepper to taste
1/4 pound myzithra cheese, grated
1 recipe Mid-Eastern Bechamel (recipe follows)
1 recipe pulled lamb sauce (recipe follows)

Preheat a conventional oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9″-diameter by 2″-deep tart pan with a sheet of puff pastry that is thawed but still quite cold. Press the pastry into the pan well without messing around with it too much. Chill the lined pan until you’re ready to fill it.

In a bit of olive oil, caramelize the sliced onion. Turn the flame down a bit and add the eggplant pulp. Add the pepper. Set aside.

Get out your lined tart pan. Spread half of the bechemel on the bottom. Follow this with half of the pulled lamb and then half of the eggplant mixture. Sprinkle this with a bit of myzithra (perhaps a quarter of the cheese). Repeat layering with the remaining bechemel, lamb and eggplant.

Bake in the center of the oven for half an hour. Remove from the oven and sprinkle top of pie with remaining myzithra. Return to hot oven and continue to bake until the pie is well set and heated through – about 45 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to rest for a few minutes before removing from the pan.

Serve at once.

Mid-Eastern Bechemel

4 ounces unsalted butter
4 ounces all purpose flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
white pepper to taste
1 pint whole milk

Make a blond roux by melting the butter in a small pan over medium-low heat and adding the flour while stirring well with a high temperature (silicone) spatula. Continue to cook slowly, without allowing the mixture to get much color, for about 8 minutes. Season with nutmeg and white pepper. Add milk. You can increase the heat at this point, but stir contantly until you have a thick white sauce. Set aside until you’re ready to assemble the pie.

Pulled Lamb sauce

2 pounds lamb (leg or shoulder, boneless)
4 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 lemon (juice and zest)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste (use a light hand)
1 large onion (sliced)
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
black pepper

Marinate the lamb in the garlic, lemon, olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper over night in the fridge.

Put the onion and lamb in your crock pot along with the marninade and cook on low heat for 8 hours. Remove the lamb from the slow cooker, let it cool. Shred it Set aside.

Skim the fat from the juices and add the meat and onion back to the pan along with the tomatoes and spices.. Roughly mash the tomatoes. Bring the heat up and reduce the liquids until you have a fairly thick meat sauce. Set aside until you’re ready to assemble the pie.


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