MAKES: 8 servings
PREPARATION TIME: 25 minutes
COOKING TIME: 8 hours
Laced with a simple, homemade béchamel sauce, this slow-cooker moussaka is the very best low-carb version of everyone’s favorite Greek casserole.
2 medium (680 kg/1.5 lb) eggplants
1 medium (400 g/14.1 oz) rutabaga, peeled
11/2 teaspoons fine sea salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons (30 g/1.1 oz) ghee or other healthy cooking fat
1 small (70 g/2.5 oz) yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2.2 pounds (1 kg) ground lamb
3 tablespoons (12 g/0.4 oz) freshly chopped oregano or 1 tablespoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons (12 g/0.4 oz) freshly chopped mint or 1 tablespoon dried mint
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 bay leaf, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons (30 g/1.1 oz) unsweetened tomato paste
1 cup (240 ml) dry red wine (see here for substitutions)
11/2 cups (360 ml) heavy whipping cream
4 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 bay leaf, crumbled
11/2 cups (135 g/4.8 oz) grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Salt and pepper
Preheat the slow cooker and grease with a small amount of ghee. Cut the eggplant and rutabaga into about 1/4-inch (1/2-cm) slices. Season the eggplant and rutabaga slices with salt, and set aside for 20 minutes. Pat dry any excess moisture off the eggplant using a paper towel.
Meanwhile, grease a large heavy-based saucepan or Dutch oven with the ghee. Add the onion and cook over medium-high heat for 5 to 8 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for a minute. Add the lamb and cook over medium heat until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the oregano, mint, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf, black pepper, tomato paste, and red wine. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the sauce is reduced by half. Season to taste and set aside.
To assemble the moussaka, place a layer of the rutabaga slices on the bottom of the slow cooker. Add a layer of eggplant slices (about a third of the amount), and half of the meat mixture. Add another third of rutabaga-eggplant slices and the remaining meat mixture. Top with the remaining rutabaga-eggplant slices. Cover with a lid and cook on low for 8 hours.
In the meantime, prepare the béchamel sauce. In a saucepan, mix the cream, egg yolks, nutmeg, and crumbled bay leaf. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until it starts to thicken. Take off the heat and mix in 1 cup (90 g/3.2 oz) of the grated Parmesan cheese. After 6 hours of cooking the moussaka, pour in the béchamel sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup (45 g) Parmesan cheese, cover with a lid, and cook for another 2 hours. Optionally, you can crisp the moussaka in the oven at 400°F (200°C, or gas mark 6) for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Serve immediately, or let it cool and refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
NUTRITION FACTS PER SERVING:
Total carbs: 14.7 g / Fiber: 4.7 g / Net carbs: 10 g / Protein: 31.4 g / Fat: 52.8 g / Energy: 685 kcal
Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (6%), protein (20%), fat (74%)