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Moussaka

ingredients

serves 6 - 8
1-1/2 lb (450-675g) minced lamb (half a shoulder of lamb will give this)
8 oz (225g) onions, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/3 cup (1 1/2 oz) 40 g flour
1 1/2 level tsp salt
black pepper
14 oz (397g) can of peeled tomatoes
3 aubergines (egg plant)

for the cheese sauce

3 tbsp (1 1/2 oz) 40 g butter
1/3 cup (1 1/2 oz) 40 g flour
3/4 pt (450 ml) milk
1 level tsp made mustard
grated nutmeg
salt and pepper
6 oz (175 g) Cheddar cheese, grated 1 egg, beaten

method

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) gas mark 5. Butter a heatproof dish (about 3 pt [1.7 litre] capacity).

2. Place the lamb in a large saucepan and cook over low heat at first to let the fat run out. Stir the meat to prevent it from sticking to the pan.

3. Add the onions and garlic, increase the heat and fry for about 15 minutes to brown the meat.

4. If after this time there seems to be an excess of fat, spoon off the surplus. Add the flour and stir well. Add the salt, freshly ground pepper and tomatoes. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Taste and check seasoning.

5. Cut the aubergines into 1/4 in. (0.6cm) slices and blanch in a pan of boiling water for 1 minute. (This will soften the skins and prevent the aubergines from discolouring.) Drain in a colander, then dry on kitchen paper.

6. Prepare the cheese sauce (see below).

7. Arrange half of the meat mixture in the bottom of the dish, cover with half the aubergines and season with salt and pepper.

8. Repeat with the rest of the lamb and aubergines, thus making four layers. Pour over the cheese sauce.

9. Bake uncovered in the oven for 45 minutes - 1 hour or until the moussaka is golden brown.

to make the cheese sauce

1. Slowly melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and cook for a few minutes over moderate heat without colouring.

2. Slowly blend in the milk and bring to the boil, stirring well. Add the mustard, nutmeg, salt, pepper and cheese.

3. Heat until the cheese melts, then remove from the heat. Cool slightly, add the egg and mix well.

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