Croatian Potato Moussaka (Musaka od Krumpira) Recipe

Potato lamb moussaka in individual saucepans
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  • 80 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins,
  • Cook: 50 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 servings Croatian Moussaka
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This recipe for Croatian potato moussaka musaka od krumpira demonstrates the influence of Greek and Turkish cuisine on the Balkans. Instead of eggplant, this moussaka is made with potatoes. And instead of the béchamel or white sauce common in Greek versions, this Croatian moussaka sports an egg custard topping. Some toppings call for sour cream, but I've used cheese here. The potatoes are typically deep-fried or pan-fried, but I've blanched them in water to lessen the calorie load. load.

What You'll Need

  • For the Filling:
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes (peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick horizontally, long way)
  • 1 pound ground meat (any combination of beef, pork, lamb or veal)
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves  garlic (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (20-ounce) can drained tomatoes (diced) or 1 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes (blanched, peeled, chopped)
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (grated or crumbled)
  • 1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
  • For the Topping:
  • 1 tablespoon butter (melted and cooled)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (grated or crumbled)
  • 1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs

How to Make It

  1. Place potato slices in a saucepan of salted water. Let come to the boil and cook 5 minutes. Immediately drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain well.
     
  2. Meanwhile, fry ground meat, onion and garlic in a large skillet until meat is no longer pink and onion is translucent. Add salt, pepper and tomatoes with their juices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, about 15-20 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Turn off heat and stir in 1/4 cup cheese and 1/2 cup bread crumbs.
     
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a medium casserole dish with cooking spray. Layer a third of the potatoes, overlapping as necessary, in the bottom of the prepared dish. Season with salt and pepper. Spread half the meat mixture on top, followed by another third of seasoned potatoes, then the rest of the meat mixture and ending with the final third of seasoned potatoes.
     
  2. In a small bowl, mix together butter, eggs, milk, 1/4 cup cheese, and 1/4 cup bread crumbs until just combined and pour over top of casserole. Place on a sheet pan to catch any drips and bake 35 to 50 minutes or until top is golden brown and potatoes are tender. If the top is browning too quickly, loosely cover with foil. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.