I also think it is relatively faff free, and can do its thing whilst you are busy chilling out somewhere drinking tea, reading recipe books and dealing with crazy children (if you're anything like me that is...)
I have adapted this recipe to suit my needs; the original recipe for the moussaka comes from those clever people at Good Food. They suggest grilled pitta bread and a green salad to accompany this, which is fine, but I don't feel that 'salad' and 'November' are rightful bedfellows. so I am going to swerve the salad, pass on the pitta and plump for potatoes a la Tamasin Day Lewis, Greek stylee.
Hob to Table Moussaka, adapted from bbcgoodfood.com
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for roasting the aubergine
1 large onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp dried oregano
500g lamb mince
400g tin chopped tomatoes
lamb stock, use the empty chopped tomato tin, about 1/2 to 2/3 (I used a knorr lamb stock cube)
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 large aubergine
200g feta cheese crumbled
2 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
Cut up the aubergines into pieces, as big or as small as you would like, place them on a baking tray and drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 20 - 25 minutes at a hot temperature until they are browning.
Heat the oil in a large, shallow pan. Toss in the onion and garlic and fry until soft. Add the mince and stir fry for 3-4 minutes until browned.
Season and simmer: Tip the tomatoes into the pan and stir in the tomato purée, cinnamon, oregano and lamb stock, then season with salt and pepper. Leave the mince to simmer for 20 minutes, adding the roasted aubergines half way through. The mince should not be dry and should have moisture but the sauce will have reduced. Check the seasoning again and adjust if necessary.
To serve: Sprinkle the crumbled feta and chopped mint over the mince. Bring the moussaka to the table as the feta melts and serve it with greek potatoes (see below) or a crunchy green salad and toasted pitta.
For the Greek potatoes - recipe from Tamasin Day Lewis' 'Good Tempered Food'.
2 onions, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
handful of oregano, leaves picked and chopped (or use half a handful of dried oregano)
300 ml extra virgin olive oil
juice of 2 lemons
salt and black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6.
2. Spread the potatoes in a roasting pan or gratin dish into which they will fit snugly.
Scatter over the onion, garlic and oregano. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Pour in the olive oil and lemon juice. Add enough water to barely cover.
4. Bake for 45 minutes, turning the mixture over from time to time, or until the potatoes are cooked through.
5. Serve the potatoes with plenty of the oily, lemony juices if you like that sort of thing.