Moussaka is a layered Greek dish traditionally consisting of eggplant and ground lamb. I saw this potato version in Cooking Light magazine a few years ago and had to try it. I'm not a big fan of eggplant, so making it with potato caught my attention. I made it with ground beef instead of the lamb because that's what I usually have on hand. I made a few other changes to it and this is my amended recipe.
Potato and Beef Moussaka
2 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼” slices
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 lb. ground beef
1 cup tomato sauce
½ tsp salt
1½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 zucchini, sliced ⅛” thick
⅓ cup feta cheese
1 cup milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 350°.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with olive oil. Add one-third of potato slices to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Transfer potato to bowl. Repeat procedure with olive oil and remaining potato slices.
Recoat pan with cooking spray. Add onion, garlic, and beef to pan; cook until beef begins to brown. Add tomato sauce, salt, cumin, and cinnamon; cook 5 minutes.
Arrange half of potato slices in a 9x13” baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange half of zucchini slices over potatoes. Arrange beef mixture over zucchini; sprinkle with feta. Top with remaining zucchini and then potato slices. Combine milk and eggs in a small bowl; pour over potato mixture. Bake for 30 minutes or until top is golden and set. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Makes 6 servings.
In addition to changing the lamb to beef, I also increased the cumin and cinnamon and added the zucchini and feta. The zucchini is so thinly sliced that you don't need to cook it before layering it in the dish; it will be perfect after being in the oven for half an hour. I definitely recommend using a mandoline for this recipe.
This dish is super tasty and we love it but I don't make it very often. It is quite time consuming because you have to brown all the potato slices on the stovetop. The recipe says to do it in three batches, but I can never fit all of mine in three, so I end up doing four. To save on time, I brown the ground beef in a separate pan so that it can be ready to go by the time the potatoes are done. It is kind of pain, but the finished dish is worth it.
Definitely not the prettiest version of this dish I have ever made. I usually arrange the potato slices in a nicer pattern, but I was in a hurry when I made this last night and didn't feel like messing with it.