Serbian moussaka is slightly different than classic Greek moussaka. No eggplant is used and instead of béchamel, the dish is covered with a milk and egg cream. At my house, we’ve always made our moussaka like this because we have an aunt from Belgrade: Aunt Buba is her name and she taught this recipe to my mother in the 1960s when she would vacation in Greece. Back then, there weren’t many folks who traveled to Greece from the now ex-Yugoslavia!
This excellent recipe for “Serbian” moussaka comes to us via the food blog Senza Panna, one of the contributors to our Cantele Food Bloggers Project.
1 lb. potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
2 medium-sized onions, peeled and finely chopped
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing
1 lb. ground beef*
½ cup red wine
1½ cup canned whole tomatoes, diced
2½ cups Pecorino, grated (or Parmigiano Reggiano)
milk, as needed
Lightly boil the potatoes (if they have been sliced thinly enough, this step is not necessary). Sautée the onion in the olive oil. Add the beef and brown. Deglaze with the wine. When the alcohol has evaporated, add the tomatoes. Season with salt to taste, cover, and simmer over low heat.
Use olive oil to grease a deep, oven-ready baking dish. Cover the bottom with a layer of the ground meat, add a layer of potatoes and cheese, and repeat, using potatoes for the top layer. Beat the eggs with an equal amount of milk, 1-2 tbsp. of Pecorino, and nutmeg to taste.
Bake at 350° in a pre-heated oven for roughly 45 minutes. Remove and let the moussaka cool before serving. Use a ramekin to shape perfectly round individual portions.
Serve with Cantele Primitivo.
* In the original recipe my aunt used ground mutton or a mix of ground mutton and beef.