I have discovered that you must use lamb. The Greeks don't raise a lot of beef as they don't have the pasture for it. But forget those packets of minced lamb you get in a supermarket. They are invariably greasy and muttoney. The best lamb by a country mile is leftover lamb from a Sunday roast. Just scrape every last bit from the leg or shoulder, including grizzle and fat and with a good knife dice it all up so that it's fine but not like mince.
The next must use ingredient is cinnamon. It's non-negotiable. It's the combination of a spice that's normally used in sweet dishes that gives moussaka it's signature flavour. The last is red wine. The amount you use is up to you. But the more the better.
After that the other ingredients are my own touches. Fresh mint and oregano just seem to work really well with the cinnamon, red wine and lamb.
So here you go. Bear in mind this is a leftover recipe so all measurements are based on what you have. Also if you want to use substitutions I have put them in brackets.
Cold leftover lamb diced up finely (or at a push lamb mince)
2 aubergines sliced
1 red onion
1 white onion
2 fat cloves of garlic
Half a tin of chopped tomatoes (or passata)
A good squeeze of tomato puree
A good glass of red wine
1 teasp of ground cinnamon (taste and use more if you like)
A handful each of oregano and mint chopped
Salt and pepper
Fry onion and garlic in some olive oil until soft. Add lamb and stir for a few minutes. Add cinnamon. Add tomatoes, tomato puree, red wine. Finally season and add oregano and mint. After about 30 minutes simmering taste and adjust adding more cinnamon, wine, salt, whatever you think you need.
While the above is simmering put the sliced aubergines in the oven on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and put in oven at 180 deg C. They need to just soften for 30 mintues or so.
Layer the aubergines and the lamb mix in an ovenproof dish.
For the topping I have used creme fraiche, Philadelphia, Greek yoghurt. All work equally well. So whatever you have in your fridge.
But you will need about 200g of cheese, yoghurt or creme fraiche and one egg. Add the egg yolk and whisk. Whisk the egg white and fold it in at the last minute. Add a good twist of black pepper and salt and grate some Parmesan into it. Pour this mix over the meat and aubergine. Grate some more Parmesan and pop in the oven at 180 deg C for 40-45 minutes.
Serve with a green salad and some fresh, crusty bread and the rest of the red wine if you have any.