For a flavourful meal, try James Martin's recipe for a classic Mediterranean dish made from aubergines and minced lamb
By James Martin
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: easy



  • 75 ml olive oil
  • 700 g minced lamb
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 800 g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped thyme
  • 175 ml white wine
  • black pepper
  • 4 aubergines, finely sliced
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 litres white sauce
  • 150 g gruyère cheese, grated
  • 50 g parmesan, grated

To serve:

  • crusty bread
  • green salad


1. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based frying pan. Add the minced lamb and onion and fry over a medium heat, stirring often, until browned on all sides, around 10 minutes. After 5 minutes, add the garlic, mixing in well.

2. Mix in the cinnamon, allspice, chopped tomatoes, oregano, bay leaves and thyme.

3. Add the wine, season with salt and freshly ground pepper, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the mince mixture for 45 minutes, stirring now and then. Remove the bay leaves.

4. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4.

5. Meanwhile, dry the aubergine slices with kitchen paper. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Fry the aubergine in batches until golden brown, remove from the frying pan and drain on kitchen paper.

6. Mix the egg yolks into the white sauce, beating well. Stir in 100g of the Gruyere cheese and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

7. Season the base of a deep oven-proof dish with a third of the mince mixture. Layer with some of the sliced aubergine.

8. Repeat the layers of mince and aubergine, ending with a layer of mince. Pour over the cheese sauce to form an even topping.

9. Sprinkle over Parmesan and remaining Gruyere.

10. Bake the moussaka in the oven for 45 minutes, until bubbling and golden brown.

11. Cool, cut into squares and serve with crusty bread and a mixed green salad.

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