Aglaia’s Moussaka

By pairing this Greek dish with a low-tannin red, you're bound to have quite the savory meal.
HL Photo/Shutterstock

This recipe is adapted from New Greek Cuisine (Broadway Books, 2006) by Jim Botsacos, chef-partner of Molyvos restaurant in New York City. For this version of the Greek classic, Botsacos began with a recipe from Aglaia Kremezi, the Greek cookbook author and cooking teacher, which he liked because it was lighter than the typical rendition. He further lightened it by adding Greek yogurt to the béchamel sauce. Botsacos suggests fully cooking all the components of the dish the day before you plan to bake and serve it.

Wine Pairing: The sweetness, intensity and persistent flavor of the aged balsamic pairs well with a low-tannin red with balanced acidity. Tuscan Sangiovese; recommended regions include Chianti Classico, Morellino di Scansano and Torgiano (Umbria).

For the yogurt béchamel sauce
1 bay leaf
1/ 2 medium onion, peeled
2 whole cloves
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup Greek yogurt* (or 1 cup regular plain yogurt that has been drained for 12 hours in a double thickness of cheesecloth set over a bowl)

For the Moussaka

​1/ 4 cup dried currants
1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes
2 1/4 cups olive oil
1 pound 90-percent lean ground beef
1 pound lean ground lamb
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons ras el hanout* (a Moroccan spice blend), or more to taste
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper*, or more to taste
About 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, or more to taste
4 cups finely diced onion
6 garlic cloves
2 cups dry red wine, such as Agiorgitiko, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Sangiovese
1 pound Idaho potatoes, cut in 18 (1/4-inch) thick slices
2 medium yellow or red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and diced
2 pounds eggplant, cut into 18 (1/4-inch thick) slices
3 cups yogurt béchamel sauce (see above)
1 cup (about 1/ 4 pound)  freshly grated kefalotyri* or Parmesan cheese

*Can be found in Middle Eastern markets and specialty shops

For the yogurt béchamel sauce

1 bay leaf
1/ 2 medium onion, peeled
2 whole cloves
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup Greek yogurt* (or 1 cup regular plain yogurt that has been drained for 12 hours in a double thickness of cheesecloth set over a bowl)

Published on November 18, 2015
Topics: Food Recipes, Food Trends, Pairing Tips



SUBSCRIBE TO
NEWSLETTERS
The latest wine reviews, trends and recipes plus special offers on wine storage and accessories