Bulgarian Chips Moussaka recipe - taste of the Balkans
Not the easiest or the fastest way to make moussaka, but certainly the one that would make you fall in love with it. Bulgarian style 🇧🇬
Why fried potato chips?
Because every moussaka recipe is unique and every Balkan culture considers their way to be the original and correct way. Which is nonsense, because what we call moussaka was first made in Egypt and trickled down through the Middle East and Turkey, before setting firm foot in Europe. Then a chef called Nikolaos Tselementes claimed it for Greece in the 1920s. Here we already have the veggie version of Rachael Hogg, the keto version of Victoria Trimm and the vegan version of Natali Eleftheriou. This one is vastly different, because it's based on meat.
Potatoes - 1.5 kilograms
Minced meat beef/pork - 500 grams
One mid-sized tomato (chopped)
One medium to large bulb of onion (chopped)
Red pepper powder - 1 tea spoon
Dried summer savory (satureja) - 1 tea spoon
Salt - 1 tea spoon
Any cooking oil (and some eyeballing skills)
Bulgarian yogurt (alternatively Greek will do) - around 400 grams
Two eggs (raw)
Peel and wash the potatoes, then cut them in circles, like thick circular chips. Get a pan, put some oil in and fry the potato circles from both sides. Then get a tray and arrange the first layer of fried potatoes (around half of what you've fried) by overlapping them slightly at the ends. The result should look like the picture below:
The first layer. I've overdone some of the potatoes and that's alright in this recipe
Now it's time to prepare the meat. Get a deep pan, put some oil in it, then add the chopped onion, the minced meat and then one glass of water (200-250 mililiters). Before you put it on the heat, get your mixing tool of choice and chop the minced meat in the pan to small pieces. When you put it on the heat, you have to constantly mix it, so the pieces will remain small and won't stick together. Think of this step as sort of a sauté. When the minced meat is cooked, add the red pepper powder, the salt, the summer savory and the chopped tomato. Mix well for a minute and take it off the heat. This is now your second layer - spread it over the first layer of potatoes in the tray and it should look like the picture below:
The second, meaty layer.
Now it's time to add the rest of the potatoes. Arrange them on top of the meat by overlapping them slightly. The result should look like the picture below:
Third layer and almost ready to go in the oven.
Now put 300-350 mililiters of water in the tray, preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius and put the moussaka to cook. It takes around 45 minutes for the water to boil away, then comes the last step. Take the two eggs and mix them well with the yogurt. Take the moussaka off the oven, spread the eggs/yogurt mix over the top and put it back in the oven for 10-15 more minutes. The end result should look like the picture below:
The end result, which I've overcooked a bit.
The Bulgarian Chips Moussaka should have a soft and mushy top, should remain juicy inside and the texture should be absolutely homogeneous. If you achieve all of that and your creation looks like the cover photo - you're a proper Moussaka Master. Enjoy the taste of Bulgaria🇧🇬
As always, I'll be glad to hear your feedback and see photos of your creations in the comments.