Gluten-free moussaka

4
2 hours

Ingredients

Moussaka

  • 2 aubergines, or 3 if small
  • 1 large onion
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 500g of lamb mince
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 handful of oregano, large
  • tomato purée
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 250ml of red wine, or 1 large glass
  • salt
  • black pepper

For a classic gluten-free béchamel

  • 50g of rice flour
  • 50g of butter
  • 570ml of whole milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 1 small onion
  • nutmeg, fresh
  • salt

For a cheat's béchamel

  • 570ml of whole milk
  • 50g of cornflour
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • nutmeg, fresh
  • grated Parmesan, 50-75g

Method

1
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
2
Cut the aubergines lengthways into 1cm thick slices. Brush the slices on both sides with olive oil and place on baking sheets. Season with salt and pepper and roast until golden and tender
3
Finely chop the onions and garlic and fry in a little olive oil in a large saucepan until soft. In the meantime, fry off the mince in a dry pan and use a slotted spoon to transfer the meat into the onions and discard the fat
4
Break the cinnamon stick and add it to the mince, along with the oregano (leaves picked off and stalks discarded). Season generously, stir in the tomato puree and slosh in the red wine and tinned tomatoes. Leave to simmer for at least 40 minutes, or until reduced
5
In the meantime, make the béchamel. Place the milk in a saucepan over a gentle heat with the onion (peeled and cut in half), peppercorns, bay leaf and nutmeg. Once the milk scalds, turn off the heat and leave to infuse (you can skip this and just add salt, pepper and nutmeg later for a simpler version)
6
Strain the milk into another, clean saucepan and heat again. Melt the butter in another saucepan and add the rice flour
7
Stir until all the roux thickens, but make sure it doesn’t catch. Add a ladle full of the infused hot milk and whisk until combined and thick and keep adding the milk in stages until you are left with a thick, lump-free sauce
8
For the cheat’s version, simply stir a little of the milk with the cornflour to make a paste and boil the rest of the milk in a pan (or in the microwave in a heatproof bowl, if you like) with the nutmeg, salt and pepper
9
Once the milk scalds, whisk in the cornflour paste and continue to whisk furiously until the sauce is thick and lump-free
10
Layer the moussaka in an oven-proof dish with meat (fish out the cinnamon stick first), followed by the aubergine, until you run out of both
11
Top with the béchamel and scatter over the cheese and bake for around 40 minutes, or until the moussaka is bubbling and the cheese has browned. Serve with a green salad