This is called winter moussaka because it’s winter here in New Zealand so instead of aubergines which are a summer vegetable, I use leafy greens as a layer between the meat sauce. As I didn’t want to use flour in the custard topping I have used pumpkin with eggs and cream. This recipe is for a large quantity as I like to make two and freeze one for another time. Of course you can half the quantities to make just one that will serve 4 or 5 hungry people.Ingredients
800gms of ground beef, you could also use lamb.
1/4 large pumpkin.
a big bunch of leafy greens, I have used chard, spinach and kale.
3 peppers, not really winter vegetables but really do add something to this dish.
3 medium onions.
2 tins of tomatoes.
8-10 dried anchovies, optional, but add a salty depth to the beef.
1 tablespoon tamari.
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar.
200ml cream, or coconut cream if dairy free.
1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon.
1/2 a grated nutmeg or equivalent.
1 bunch of parsley.
salt and pepper.
Peel and chop the pumpkin into large chunks and half and de-seed the peppers. Put these in a roasting pan with some coconut oil and roast for about 30-40 minutes at 180c. Whilst they are roasting make the meat sauce. Chop the onions fairly small, and fry in coconut oil until beginning to brown.
Then add the minced beef and break up with a potato masher or spoon and fry until browning, next add the anchovies if using and the tinned tomatoes.
Add the cinnamon, this gives the sauce an earthy sweetness that goes perfectly with the nutmeg in the custard topping. Then add salt, this sauce needs a surprising amount of salt, start with a teaspoon and taste as you go adding more if you think it needs it. Keep the heat up quite high as we want to evaporate some of the liquid from the tomatoes.
When the pumpkin and peppers are done allow them to cool a little then put the pumpkin along with the cream, eggs, grated nutmeg (don’t hold back on quantity here) and some salt (about1/4 teaspoon)and pepper into a food processor and blend until smooth.
Next chop the parsley and add to the meat sauce. We are now ready to assemble the moussakas.
Start with 1/4 of the meat sauce in each of two deep oven proof dishes, then layer in the peppers next pile in the green vegetables. These can be quite a thick layer, you can chop them up a bit first if you like, which makes it easier to serve but I normally just throw them in whole.
Next spread on the rest of the meat sauce followed by the pumpkin custard topping.
Into the oven at 180c for about 50minutes, the custard should be set, it will be browned on top and the greens will be cooked through.We love this moussaka with a salad and a squeeze of lime juice. This moussaka freezes well. The total carbs for these two moussakas is 105gms so depending on how big a portion you have it will be between 10 – 13 gms of carbs per serve.