Moussaka Gratinée

“Moussaka” by chelmsfordblue The name of today’s dish comes from the Arabic word “musaqqaʿa”, which literally means “chilled”. The dish is originally from the Middle East, Balkans and East Meditteranean. Our recipe for today, however, is a more modern take on one of the more famous moussaka variations outside the region: Greek. It does not use any potatoes, makes use of leftover lamb leg and is baked in separate ramekins instead of one big pan. Let us begin!


  • 1 large egg white (or an equivalent amount of liquid egg whites)
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 4 small eggplants (around five inches long)
  • 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 finely chopped large yellow onion
  • 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic
  • 1 lb. of leftover roasted lamb leg trimmed of sinew and extra fat and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • Sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup of the leftover sauce from the roasted lamb leg (strained)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups of whole milk
  • A pinch of ground mace
  • 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces of finely grated pecorino or kefalotyri cheese


  1. Peel, trim and cut the eggplants into 1/2-inch pieces.
  2. Put them in a colander.
  3. Set the colander over a bowl.
  4. Sprinkle them generously with Kosher salt. Set aside.
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons of the extra-virgin olive oil in a 12-inch skillet. Use medium-low heat.
  6. Cook the onions for about 10 minutes or until they turn soft. Stir occasionally.
  7. Switch to medium-high heat and put in the lamb.
  8. Cook for another 6 minutes or until the lamb turns light brown and starts to stick to the skillet.
  9. Reduce the heat and add in the garlic, cinnamon, tomato paste and a teaspoon of sea salt.
  10. Add the leftover lamb sauce.
  11. Cook for another 1 or 2 minutes. Stir frequently.
  12. Add in the parsley.
  13. Season to taste with pepper.
  14. Stir and transfer to a bowl. Set aside.

Preparing the eggplants

  1. Take a separate skillet (or clean up the one you used to cook the lamb).
  2. Pat the salted eggplants with dry paper towels.
  3. Coat the skillet with what is left of the olive oil and set over medium-high heat.
  4. As soon as the skillet is hot, add in the eggplants.
  5. Cook for about 2 minutes or until the eggplants show light brown spots. Stir occasionally.
  6. Switch to medium-low heat, cover the skillet and cook for another 10 minutes or until the eggplants turn soft.
  7. Heat your oven to 400° F with a rack set in the middle.
  8. Uncover the skillet and stir the eggplant using a wooden spoon. Scrape the browned bits off the skillet.
  9. Remove the skillet from heat.
  10. Use the wooden spoon to mash the eggplants.
  11. Mix the eggplants in with the lamb.
  12. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  13. Take six eight-ounce ramekins and fill each one with the lamb-eggplant mixture.

Preparing the sauce

  1. Pour the milk into a two-quart saucepan.
  2. Add in the mace and bay leaf.
  3. Set the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
  4. Remove the saucepan from heat. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes.
  5. Strain the mixture onto a cup and set aside.
  6. Put the butter in a four-quart saucepan and set over medium heat.
  7. Add in the flour. Stir constantly.
  8. Cook the mixture for about 2 minutes.
  9. Add in the milk. Whisk for about 4 minutes or until the mixture turns thick and shiny.
  10. Pour a quarter of a cup of the sauce into a small bowl.
  11. Add in the egg yolk and whisk them together.
  12. Pour the mixture in with the rest of the sauce in the saucepan. Whisk to combine.
  13. Add in the cheese. Whisk everything together.
  14. Remove the saucepan from heat. Set aside to cool slightly.
  15. Take another small bowl and put in the egg whites. Whisk until you see stiff peaks form.
  16. Fold the egg whites into the sauce.


  1. Top the lamb-eggplant mixture in each ramekin with the sauce.
  2. Set the ramekins in a 15×10-inch, four-quart glass baking dish.
  3. Pour in a cup of water.
  4. Cover the dish with foil.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove the foil but keep baking for about 35 more minutes or until the mixture is browned and bubbling.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes.
  8. Serve.


  • This recipe makes six servings.