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Free recipe Friday – Emma’s Macedonian Spice Mix

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that Emma likes to experiment with herbs and spices in the kitchen. Just over a year ago she put her researching hat on and worked hard to perfect this Macedonian spice mix which features in our Macedonian lamb moussaka with yoghurt-dill dressing and side salad. Don’t confuse this with a Greek Moussaka, which features aubergines and a different spice combination, like one of our proof-readers did. There were some heated discussion, but they all made friends in the end 🙂

Macedonian lamb moussaka with yoghurt-dill dressing and side salad

           

For the moussaka:

2 tbsp olive oil
¾ red onion, finely sliced
500g lean lamb mince
2 tbsp Macedonian spice mix (see below)
800g potatoes, sliced
Butter for greasing

For the topping:

4 eggs, beaten
2 cups whole milk
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black or white pepper

For the dressing:

2 pots natural yoghurt
2 tbsp dill, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Pinch of salt

To serve:

150g mesclun, torn
2 carrots, grated
¼ red onion, finely sliced
Drizzle of olive oil and red wine vinegar

For 2 tbsp Macedonian spice mix:

2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp dried dill or parsley
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp ground cumin

Method:

Pre -heat oven to 210°C. <

Get started with the moussaka. Heat olive oil in heavy frying pan over a medium heat. Add onion (reserving some for the salad) and cook gently for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add mince to the pan and cook until is lightly browned – about 3-4 minutes, breaking it up as it cooks. Sprinkle in the spice mix and cook out for a minute or two, then remove the pan from heat and set aside. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water if it’s burning or looking dry.

Scrub and slice the potatoes thinly into 2-3 mm rounds while the mince is cooking. Set aside. Combine the eggs and milk in a bowl for the topping and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Handy Hint: Take a moment to read the following paragraph and gauge the quantity of ingredients to choose an oven dish of the appropriate size.

Butter a deep baking dish, then lay out half of the sliced potatoes and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Spread out all the mince, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay out the remaining potatoes and season again with salt and pepper. Press down to firm up the mixture and remove any air pockets, then pour over the milk and egg mixture. Ensure the potatoes are covered in the egg.

Cover the dish with tin foil and pop in the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the potatoes are soft enough to pierce with a knife. Remove the tin foil and cook for another 10-12 minutes, finishing off under the grill to brown if needed.

While the moussaka is in the oven, prepare the rest of the meal. Finely chop the dill and combine with the remaining ingredients for the dressing. For the salad, shave or grate the carrot and combine with finely sliced red onion and torn mesclun in a bowl. Drizzle with a little olive oil and vinegar if desired.

To serve, dish up the piping hot moussaka straight from the oven. Serve the salad on the side and dot with the yoghurt dressing.

Enjoy!