Moussaka is a classic Bulgarian dish. Its basic ingredients are fairly plain, but the yogurt gives it a unique, tangy taste. It’s surprisingly delicious! The difference between the Bulgarian and Greek Moussaka is that the Bulgarian one uses potatoes and not eggplant. This recipe is defiantly worth a try.
– 3 lbs potatoes
– 1 lb lean ground beef
– 1 tablespoon tomato paste
– 1 teaspoon cumin (or more)
– 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
– 1/2 teaspoon white pepper (or to taste)
– 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
– 2 tablespoons oil (not needed if you use a nonstick pan for frying)
– 1 mushroom stock cubes
– 1 cup plain yogurt
– 2 -3 eggs (depending on size)
In a frying pan put the oil, the beef, the tomato paste, cumin, black and white pepper, nutmeg and some salt and start frying forcing the meat with a fork to fall apart into crumbs. When all the meat is falling apart remove from the fire and drain the excess fat (although you could also add it to the baking tin).
Peel the potatoes and chop them into small pieces. Put half of the potatoes in a deep baking tin, spread the meat mixture over them and top it with the rest of the potatoes; you could use a larger or a smaller diameter tin depending on how thick you want your moussaka to be.
Add water until only half of the top layer of potatoes stays uncovered by it and break the stock cube over it (BE CAREFUL – if you opt not to use the cube you’ll have to add some salt).
Preheat the oven to a medium temperature and put the moussaka inches. In a bowl beat the yogurt with the eggs the thyme, a bit of salt and some black or white pepper if you want.
When the water in the tin starts boiling and the potatoes start to cook, pour in the yogurt mixture taking care that it covers the potatoes entirely.
Bake until the potatoes are done (about 45 min-1 h total baking time) but be careful not to burn the yogurt lid – you may want to lower the heat or to leave the oven heating from under the tin only.
When ready take out of the oven and leave to cool a bit – potatoes cool very slowly. Serve very warm.