Turkish Moussaka Recipe

Many years ago I knew an American woman who had married a man from Turkey, learned how to cook his customary dishes, and would herself travel to his native land multiple times a year to visit the rug and jewelry markets. One night, while enjoying a dinner party at their home, I was introduced to Moussaka and many other traditional Turkish dishes. It instantly became one of my favorite go-to meals and I have made it several times over the years.

Traditionally, moussaka is a Greek stew using ground lamb, often baked in casserole dishes, smothered in a sauce and topped with cheese. This particular variation is, I can only assume, more traditional to Turkey. Although I have always used ground lamb in the past, I decided this time to shake it up a bit and substitute the ground lamb for lamb stew meat. I figured if I am slow cooking it in a crockpot, it will most likely result in a stronger lamb flavor. I was not wrong.

Simple and straightforward, Turkish Moussaka perfectly combines the flavors of lamb, eggplant, and tomato into one dish, and I always serve it with a bit of rice and a dollop of plain yogurt.

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Turkish Moussaka
  1. Bring lamb to room temperature, season with salt and pepper
  2. Pour oil into large skillet, bring to high temperate
  3. Add lamb to skillet and sear all sides, stirring often
  4. Place lamb in crockpot, reduce temperature on skillet
  5. De-glaze pan with red wine
  6. Add garlic and onion, cook until translucent
  7. Add garlic and onion to crockpot
  8. Peel and cube eggplant
  9. Layer eggplant on top of other ingredients in crockpot
  10. Cover with chicken stock
  11. Cook on high for 2 hours
  12. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and potatoes
  13. Cook on low for 6 hours, or until potatoes are tender
  14. Serve with a dollop of plain yogurt
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