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Lamb and Aubergine Moussaka

ingredients

serves 4
2 lb (900 g) aubergines (egg plant), thinly sliced
salt and freshly ground pepper
vegetable oil
350 g (12 oz) lean lamb, minced
2 medium onions, skinned and chopped
45 ml (3 level tbsp) tomato puree (paste)
2/3 cup (150 ml) 1/4 pt dry white wine
226 g (8 oz) can tomatoes, with juice
1/2 level tsp (2.5 ml) dried oregano
1/2 level tsp (2.5 ml) dried basil.
2 level tbsp plain flour (All purpose)
3 oz (75 g) fresh breadcrumbs
1 tbls (15 g) 1/2 oz butter
1 1/4 cup (1/2 pint) 300 ml milk
3 oz (75 g) Cheddar cheese, grated
1 egg yolk

method

1. Sprinkle the aubergines generously with salt. Leave in a colander to drain for 30 minutes.

2. In a saucepan heat 15 ml (1 tbsp) oil. Brown the lamb well. Stir in the onion, tomato puree, wine, tomatoes and herbs with 15 ml (1 tbsp) flour. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Season.

3. Rinse aubergines, squeeze and pat dry. In a frying pan, fry them a few at a time in hot oil, until brown. Drain well on absorbent kitchen paper.

4. Layer the aubergines in a 1.4 litre (2 1/2 pint) shallow ovenproof dish, with the lamb and 50 g (2 oz) breadcrumbs.

5. To make the sauce, melt the butter in a pan, stir in the remaining flour and cook gently for 1 minute, stirring. Remove pan from the heat and gradually stir in the milk. Bring to the boil and continue to cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat, then stir in 50 g (2 oz) cheese and the egg yolk.

6. Spoon the sauce over the moussaka, sprinkle with cheese and the remaining breadcrumbs. Bake in the oven at 180°C (350°F) mark 4 for 45 minutes, until golden. Serve immediately.

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