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A Marriage - Two Brothers Cabernet Merlot with Greek Lamb Moussaka and Béchamel Sauce

An excerpt from Around The World With Bradley Mitton - Wine Pairing Recipes . Link to order

This is a recipe from Zorba’s Greek Restaurant in Hong Kong (1994) is a three-part recipe that includes fried eggplants, topped with a savoury meat sauce and then a classic French white sauce spiced with nutmeg, all baked bringing the textures of each part together. If you get this right, it’s a rich and savoury winner. Marry with our Two Brothers Cabernet Merlot.

Ingredients (serves 6 to 8 portions)

Lamb Mix
1.2 kgs ground lamb
500 gms red onion
100 gms garlic, chopped
100 mls red wine
250 grams tomato, chopped
50 gms tomato paste
25 gms mint leaves, chopped
25 gms coriander, chopped
15 gms ground brown cinnamon
50 mls olive oil
Salt and pepper to season

Eggplant layer
1.5 kgs eggplant, sliced
250 gms olive oil
Salt and pepper to season

Béchamel Sauce
125 gms unsalted butter
175 gms flour
15 gms red onion, chopped
1 litre milk
5 gms nutmeg
5 gms black pepper, ground
3 egg yolks
200 gms feta cheese
200 gms parmesan, grated

Method
In a large pan, heat the olive oil and then brown off the lamb, add onion and garlic until soft and then the tomatoes and red wine. Cook off the juice for about 30 minutes and then add the seasoning and herbs. Leave to cool.

In a shallow pan, prepare the eggplant layer by frying the eggplant until brown, season leave to cool on kitchen paper to take off the oil.

For the béchamel, heat the butter slowly in a pan, add the flour, take off the heat and mix until a paste. Add half the milk and mix with a beater and add back to low heat. Slowly the mixture will thicken, add the rest of the milk and thicken up then add the nutmeg, cheese and season.

In a deep baking tray, place the eggplant at the bottom layer, add the meat mix and then over the top, pour the béchamel.

Bake on 180 degrees until browned, about twenty minutes.
Leave to cool for a few minutes - then it is easier to cut and top with chopped fresh parsley.

Wine Pairing
The spices in this dish call for a Cabernet Sauvignon, no question, especially with the combination of the cinnamon and the nutmeg, that fit with the soft and spicy structure of a Cabernet Merlot. I’d suggest our Two Brothers Cabernet Merlot. Link to see Brad's tasting video 

Did You Know?
That Béchamel was a financier who held the honorary post of chief steward to King Louis XIV. The sauce under its familiar name first appeared in Le Cuisinier François, published in 1651 by François Pierre La Varenne (1615–1678), chef de cuisine to Nicolas Chalon du Blé, marquis d'Uxelles as: "White roux moistened with milk, salt, onion stuck with clove, cook for 20 minutes."

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