Peel the eggplant lengthwise. Cut into 1/2 inch rounds (or
1/4 inch thick lenght-wise slices), sprinkle with salt (to remove
bitterness) and let
stand in a colander (preferably under a heavy or weighted plate) for 1/2 hour. Rinse and dry the
Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a saucepan and sauté meat and onion until brown.
Add tomato paste, parsley, wine, salt, pepper and water. Simmer until liquid has
been absorbed. Cool. Stir in cinnamon, 1/2 cup cheese and half the
breadcrumbs. (Greek-American alternatives may also add 1 tsp. sugar and
about 1/4 cup catsup/ketchup).
The Sauce (akin to Bechamel)
Melt 6 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add flour and stir until
well blended. Remove from heat and gradually stir in milk. Return to
cook, stirring constantly until sauce is thick and smooth. Add salt, pepper and
nutmeg. Combine eggs with a little of the hot sauce, then stir egg mixture into
sauce and cook over very low hear for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Preheat the broiler.
Lightly brush eggplant slices with oil on both sides. Place on an un-greased
cookie sheet and broil until lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sprinkle bottom of a 10 x 16-inch pan with remaining breadcrumbs. Place a layer
of eggplant slices on the breadcrumbs to completely cover the bottom of
the pan, then spread meat mixture over eggplant slices (an option
here, to ensure a more cohesive bottom, is to add a layer of cheese
on top of the eggplant before topping with the meat mixture). Cover meat with remaining eggplant slices. Spoon sauce over eggplant;
sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup grated cheese. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden
brown. Cool for 10 minutes before cutting. Serve warm.
Note: Moussaka can be prepared up to the cream sauce and finished the next day.
This can also be baked, cooled, frozen and reheated.