Saturday, 9 January 2010

Eggplant Venison Moussaka

What started out as an assignment to the lamb/goat dish for our freezer meal group and ended up with a complicated two weeks of pipe unfreezing duty, -30 windchills, and no supermarket in the lower 2 tiers of Iowa counties carrying lamb or goat plus a nice coincidence of a friend shooting "too many" deer and the order finishing up processing exactly on freezer meal day.......ended up as this interesting dish.

Basically cut up into cubes 4 lbs of eggplant. Salt and let rest for 30 min. Then pat them with a tea towel to soak up excess water and toss them with olive oil Roast until they are nicely browned.

Then brown 2 pounds of lamb or venison, and add 4 medium cloves garlic, minced, and 1 medium diced onion. Cook until they are softened. Add 24 ounces of diced tomato, 1 T dried oregano and 2 T dried parsley, a 1/2 cup of wine (it said red, we used Horny Heifer white), 1 t sugar, salt and 3/4 t cinnamon (or to taste, about 1 teaspoon of each to start).
The sauce is basically an alfredo, which when made from scratch always starts with a bechamel, and you add cheese and spices according to what you will use it for. The basics for this sauce can be used to make an assortment of different sauces, including a sauce for vegetable casseroles, macaroni and cheese, or an alfredo sauce for pasta. The only variances will be the type of cheese and spice you use. Here is the base for this one:
Melt 3 T unsalted butter in a sauce pan. Once it is completely melted, add 4 T of flour, or enough to absorb all the butter, but not make a dough-it should still be sort of runny. Let this cook a bit-many cooks make the mistake of adding the liquid too soon, and you end up with a floury taste in your food. Flour needs to cook-otherwise it tastes like (yes) flour. The flour should darken just a smidge-too much and you enter the land of roux. Save that for gumbo :) To this mix slowly add 2 cups of whole milk, stirring it in as you go. If you dump it all in at once, you will separate the flour and liquids and cool the pan too much. You want the mixture to thin out, but not too much. It should thicken the longer it cooks. Once the sauce has thickened just a bit (and by a bit, I really mean not too much) add 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese (Romano would work well here, as well). Stir it in until well blended, then you will start to flavor the sauce. Start with a pinch of fresh grated nutmeg (it makes all the difference to use fresh grated nutmeg. There is so much more flavor. Make a point to start as soon as you run out of that Tone's container in the cupboard-okay?) Also add a little salt and pepper, and just keep adding the three until it has enough flavor for you. After you have it flavored (you better have been stirring the whole time, or else it will congeal), layer the eggplant and meat in a casserole pan, then pour the sauce over it all. Bake until heated through and bubbly.

That's it.

I was thinking that I don't like eggplant though and the dish might be better with roasted sweet potato. If any one tries that or has an opinion let me know.


  1. I have never been a big fan of eggplant either, but my parents sent me on a tour of Europe when I was in college, and I will NEVER forget the moussaka I had in Greece. I was vegetarian at the time, and finally gave up trying to pick out the meat and just gave in to the deliciousness of the meal. It was divine. I think I will have to check out a vegan version. :)

  2. You write beautifully Mama P!
    Congratulations on the acquisition of your friend’s venison surplus. Will there be some nice additions to your freezer?
    I miss the links on your blog to the homegrown and other farm blogs. Am I missing where they now reside?

    Thanks for sharing


  3. LOL. I didn't write most of this one. I wrote the draft and then Abby at Sugar Creek rewrote it.

    I didn't notice before that my links were missing. I will rebuild the list today!

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  5. Thank you on all counts:)!

    Create a great day,


  6. Thank you for posting your links again ~ they are treasure, and so are you:)

    Trusting you and the family are well,



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