This straightforward beef and potato casserole is also known as moussaka. The layered dish is to the Greeks what lasagna is to the Italians. Get the recipe.
For the Casserole:
- 1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more for baking dish
- 1 medium mild onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound ground beef (or ground lamb)
- 2–3 teaspoons paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 2 large potatoes, thinly sliced into rounds (about 1 lb total weight, 2 1/2 cups)
For the Mornay Sauce:
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 ounces farmer’s cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese (about 3/4 cup), divided
- 2 large egg yolks, beaten
- Preheat oven to 375˚F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with canola oil.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally for 4-5 minutes, or until slightly translucent and soft. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring occasionally until fragrant.
- Add ground beef and paprika to taste. Continue cooking until beef is no longer pink, breaking up large pieces with a wooden spoon. Drain away excess fat. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk for the sauce until it is just bubbling on the edges, about 3-4 minutes. Keep warm over low heat.
- Heat butter for the sauce in a medium saucepan over medium heat until melted and foaming. Add flour and whisk constantly for about 1 minute, until the roux is golden brown in color.
- Gradually whisk in the warm milk. Bring to a boil, whisking until smooth and there are no more lumps, and then reduce to a simmer.
- Continue to cook for about 5 minutes, whisking frequently, until mixture thickens and attains a pudding-like consistency. Stir in salt and remove from heat.
- Whisk in farmer’s cheese and half of the Parmesan cheese.
- Set aside for 10 minutes to let the cheese melt. Vigorously whisk in egg yolks until combined and mixture takes on a golden yellow color. Set aside.
- Cover the bottom of the prepared dish with a single layer of potatoes so they are overlapping slightly. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
- Spoon beef mixture evenly over the potatoes.
- Cover with the rest of the potatoes and sprinkle with the remaining salt and pepper.
- Top with sauce and smooth surface with a spoon. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.
- Cover the baking dish with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove the cover and continue cooking for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown on top.
- Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before cutting into pieces and serving.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
- Category: Casserole
- Method: Stovetop/Baking
- Cuisine: Greek
Keywords: Greek, moussaka, beef, potato, casserole