Moussaka pizza

One of my favorite dishes from Greece is moussaka. It’s basically layers of ground meat, typically lamb, sometimes beef, stewed in this tomato sauce with eggplant, potatoes, and a creamy béchamel on top of that is broiled until golden brown. With the exception of the potato, honestly, all of those things could be incorporated into a pizza, and it’ll work organically. I have been wanting to make a pizza for a while now, since I really haven’t made any since college. For my rendition on a moussaka pizza, I decided to go with a classic yeast-leavened dough with sautéed eggplant, braised lamb ragout, a béchamel that I infused with lamb bones, some olive oil-macerated tomatoes, and glass potato chips on top. In retrospect, I did want to use potatoes in the dough itself, but I wanted to use the same dough from the pizza for baguettes for another recipe, so I opted to just use a standard bread dough for this. With the lamb ragout, I actually used lamb bone meat instead of ground lamb, because I wanted to use those bones to impart much more flavor. What I love about this pizza is that you get the best in both a red pizza and a white pizza, and with the flavors, it’s almost like a lasagna meets barbecued ribs meets moussaka meets pizza. So basically, a lot of great things, jammed onto one flatbread.

This is one of those few recipes I have on this site that would easily take over 5-6 hours to make. The bread dough itself is a 3-hour process alone. The braised lamb ragout takes about 2 1/2 hours as well. The chips, those are about another 45 minutes, since I opted to bake them as opposed to fry them, just to give them that glass effect. Even the béchamel, I infused it with lamb bones, and that process takes another hour. Even after you make the ragout, you still need to cool it down completely before spreading it onto the dough, since you don’t want a hot sauce on a yeast dough, which would run the risk of killing the yeast. There’s a lot of steps and time that goes into it, but I promise, the end result is so worth it. It’s a great recipe to make if you have a TON of time to kill, but if you don’t have that time or luxury, you can still skip some of the processes, just at the cost of some of the flavors. A lot of people are intimidated by pizza because they think you have to have a pizza stone to make one. But you really don’t need one, just a pan big enough to fit the pizza on, and an oven that can reach at least 450 degrees F.

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For the ragout:
1 1/2 pounds of lamb bone meat
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon fennel pollen
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
a pinch of salt
olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 shallot, peeled and diced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
water

Toss the lamb bones in the spices. Saute the bones with garlic, shallot, and tomato paste in an large stockpot, using olive oil, until the exterior of the bones are golden brown. Deglaze with water and submerge the bones in liquid. Simmer, with the lid on, for 1 1/2 hours. Fish out the bay leaf. Plunge the bones into cold water, and pull off the meat from the bones. Slice the meat into 1/4 inch chunks and place back into the braising liquid. Reserve those bones for the béchamel. Cook down the meat in the sauce for another 1 hour with the lid on over low heat, then another 20 minutes with the lid off, or until the liquid has mostly cooked into the meat. Cool down completely before spreading onto your dough.

For the dough:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup lukewarm water (110 degrees F)
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/4 teaspoon salt
extra virgin olive oil
sautéed eggplant and garlic
ragout

Combine ingredients. Knead on a clean surface for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth to the dough. Proof for 1 hour, with the dough covered, in a warm place. On a nonstick baking surface, roll out the dough to a 12 inch circle. Place the cooled down eggplant, olive oil, and garlic on first. Bake at 450 degrees F for 15 minutes.

For the sautéed eggplant:
1 Italian eggplant
2 cloves of garlic
olive oil
salt

Slice the eggplant widthwise into 1/4th inch medallions. Toss with salt. Saute with olive oil and garlic until the eggplant has shrunken down in size and has been browned on both sides. Reserve with the garlic and cool down completely.

For the potato chips:
1 russet potato
canola oil
a pinch of salt

Shave the potato on your thinnest setting on a mandolin. Toss in oil and salt. Spread on a nonstick surface and bake at 250 degrees F for 45 minutes, or until the edges of the potatoes begin to just brown and lift from the tray.

For the béchamel:
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons gruyere cheese
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
reserved lamb bones
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
a pinch of salt
a pinch of nutmeg

Steep the bones into the milk on low heat for 1 hour. Strain out the bones. In a pan, mix together the flour, olive oil, salt, nutmeg, and cheeses until they form a paste. Deglaze with the milk and whisk until combined and thickened. Spread over your already-baked pizza and place until the broiler until the top has caramelized.

For the tomatoes:
1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
a pinch of salt
a pinch of black pepper
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon lemon

Toss together and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes. Drain any liquid and garnish right away.

For assembly:
Garnish the top of your pizza with the tomatoes and the potato chips to finish.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. This looks absolutely amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

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