Slow Cooker Moussaka Recipe

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Now you can create this classic Greek dish, filled with ground lamb and eggplant slices, using the slow cooker. This inventive recipe requires a bit more work than a typical slow cooker entree, but the result is well worth the effort.
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Servings:
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Ingredients
  • FILLING
  • 2 medium-sized eggplants, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes (14 ounce can)
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt and additional black pepper to taste
  • TOPPING
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups milk, warmed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
Container: 5-quart slow cooker
Directions
PREP
1 hr
COOK
4 hrs
READY IN
5 hrs
FILLING
  • After slicing the eggplant, place the slices in a large strainer, positioning them in alternating layers, and allow the excess liquid to drain from the eggplant; then pat them dry with paper towels.
  • Brush the eggplant with half of the olive oil. Reserve the remaining olive oil for later use.
  • Place the slices in a single layer on a large baking sheet, and then place the baking sheet under the broiler oven and cook until the slices are soft and lightly browned. Turn the slices to brown the other side. Note: You may have to broil the eggplant slices in two or more batches depending on the number of slices, or you can simply use more than one baking sheet if there is enough room in your oven.
  • Place half of the eggplant slices in the slow cooker.
  • In a heavy skillet, heat the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onions until softened.
  • Add the garlic and the ground lamb to the skillet and saute until the meat is browned.
  • To the skillet, add the parsley, oregano, black pepper, salt, and the can of tomatoes. Mix well and cook the mixture until hot and bubbly.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and pour the contents into the slow cooker, covering the eggplant slices.
  • Place the remaining eggplant slices on top of the meat mixture, cover the slow cooker, and cook on high heat for 2 hours.
TOPPING
  • When the 2 hours cooking time has nearly elapsed, prepare the cheese topping. Warm the milk on the stovetop or in the microwave. Do not allow the milk to boil.
  • Melt the butter in a skillet, gradually add the flour, and stir constantly over medium heat for about one minute.
  • Gradually add the warm milk, stirring constantly. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until it has thickened. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the nutmeg and two-thirds of the cheese.
  • Allow the sauce to cool for at least 5 minutes; then beat in the egg yolk. If the sauce is too hot, the egg yolk could coagulate.
  • Pour the sauce into the crock pot, cover, and cook for an additional 2 hours.
  • After 2 hours had elapsed, sprinkle the remaining one-third of the cheese over the top of the moussaka; then sprinkle on the breadcrumbs. Cover the crock pot and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Optional: Remove the crock pot from the heat source and place the crock under the broiler oven for several minutes to brown the top of the sauce. This step browns the topping and makes the moussaka look as though it has been oven-baked. It also makes it taste even better.
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