Cape Venison Moussaka

This Cape venison moussaka recipe is a classic dish with aubergines. Aubergines are in season, gleaming and a perfect unblemished black. Moussaka is both Greek and Turkish and is the best known Greek dish. The eggplant originally came from Asia. A local Cape flavor is imparted to this moussaka recipe by using venison mince instead of a pork beef blend. The venison is 'gamey' as it should be and imbued with the tastes of the wild aromatic vegetation of 

the Cape's arid zones that makes Karoo lamb so good. In case you are wondering about my tablecloth (I always hope that people do), it is from a two colour (black and white) hand drawn screen print design I made and printed on plum coloured tie dyed damask. The design features an endangered flower from the Cape Fynbos Biome. Its called a Spinnekop Blom, or spider flower but I think flamenco lily would be a more apt description... What do you think ? These flowers are small but gorgeously regal and complex in appearance. Google Ferraria crispa or check out our local botanical website at Spinnekop Bloom for a picture.

But back to the Cape venison moussaka recipe. Find below all the details of the recipe.


Preparation time: 15 minutes 
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Cooking time: at least 2 hours
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Resting time: 0 minutes
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Total time needed: at least 2 H 15 minutes
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Grade of Difficulty: time consuming work but not difficult

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Serves 4




Tools
for
Cape Venison Moussaka

  • Pan
  • Grater for making thin potato slices
  • Wooden spoon
  • Measuring spoons
  • Large baking pan
  • Sharp knife
  • Old yoghurt container with lid
  • Large glass bowl
  • Cutting board
  • Oven gloves



Ingredients
for
Cape Venison Moussaka Recipe

  • 2 medium sized aubergines
  • Salt for leeching aubergines
  • 2 small leeks
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 500 gram / 17.6 oz. venison mince
  • 1.5 tbsp. Sweet red wine
  • 3 medium sized tomatoes
  • 6 medium sized potatoes
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. dried parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 knife tip of Carolina Reaper Chili powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • 25 gram / 0.88 oz butter
  • 1 tbsp. wheat flour
  • 1 cup full cream milk
  • 50 gram / 1.76 oz feta cheese
  • 1 pinch of freshly ground nutmeg

Directions
for
Cape Venison Moussaka Recipe

LEECHING THE AUBERGINES - 

  • Cut 2 medium aubergines lengthways into 1cm thick slices.
  • Put one layer of aubergine slices in glass bowl.
  • Sprinkle with about a teaspoon of salt.
  • Repeat until all the aubergine is layered with salt in the glass bowl.
  • Leave for at least 30 minutes. 

COOKING THE MINCE, LEEKS AND GARLIC

  • Remove dead leaves from 2 small leeks. 
  • Slit the leeks lengthwise.
  • Wash the leeks and shake dry.
  • Chop the leeks.
  • Chop two cloves of garlic finely.
  • Allow them to sweat in a medium hot pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil.


ADD VENISON MINCE

  • When the leeks are becoming transparent add 500g venison mince .
  • Break up the mince and crumble it over the vegetables.
  • Stir till it is crumbly, not lumpy, but not roasted brown.

ADD TOMATO AND WINE

  • Slit and scald 3 tomatoes in boiling water and remove their skins.
  • Chop the tomatoes and add with 1/2 tablespoons of sweet red wine to the mince. 
  • Leave on medium low heat.

GRILLING THE POTATOES AND AUBERGINES

  • Cut 3 potatoes into fine slices on the grater.
  • Place in the old yoghurt container with 1 teaspoon of oil and shake till the potato is covered with oil.
  • Shake out the potato into a baking pan, covering only 1/2 of the pan.
  • Rinse the aubergines in cold water and drain them. 
  • Shake them with a little oil and place on the other half of the baking tray.
  • Grill these vegetables in the oven till they brown somewhat.

FINISHING THE MINCE SAUCE

  • When the mince is integrated with the tomato, add 1 tablespoon of dried parsley, and pepper and salt to taste.
  • Five minutes later add powdered cinnamon, tomato paste, dried oregano, paprika powder, carolina reaper chili powder, and sugar. 
  • Stir all the ingredients thoroughly and then turn off the heat.

LAYERING THE FOOD IN THE BAKING DISH

  • When the potato and aubergine are grilled, place potato in glass bowl and remove half of aubergines from baking dish.
  • Spread out the aubergine slices on the baking tray.
  • Sprinkle with lemon juice.
  • Cover them with mince.
  • Cover the mince with the rest of the aubergines.
  • Sprinkle with more lemon juice.
  • Spread the potato over the surface.

MAKING THE BECHAMEL SAUCE TOPPING

  • Melt butter in the pan.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of flour.
  • Stir till light golden brown. Gradually add 1 cup of milk and stir continually for ten minutes until a creamy sauce forms.
  • Add half a cup of crumbled feta cheese.

  • Add nutmeg, lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Stir in and lower the heat till cheese is a little integrated. 
  • Pour the cheese on top of the potato slices covering the layers of aubergine and mince in the baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius / 356 Fahrenheit.
  • Remove from oven and serve Cape Venison Moussaka hot



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