Whether you're talking about a Baba Ghanoush or our Pecan Smoked Aubergine recipe, smoke and aubergine go together like peaches and cream. Which is why moussaka is a sure-fire winner on the Big Green Egg. You can control the intensity by choosing to only smoke the vegetables - as we have done here - or by smoking the entire finished dish.
SET UP YOUR EGG
Set up your EGG for indirect cooking, using the ConvEGGtor with the Stainless Steel Grid on top. Your target temperature is 120˚C. As you'll be doing some smoking for this recipe, be sure to pre-soak your chosen Woodchips for around 15-20 minutes before you cook.
COOK YOUR VEGETABLES
When you're ready, add a handful of the soaked smoking chips to your EGG. Lightly oil the aubergine slices and place them on the Stainless Steel Grid. Place the whole onion and garlic in with them. Smoke for 30 minutes, then remove all of the vegetables and set aside.
MAKE THE MEAT SAUCE
Now set your EGG up for direct cooking — by removing the ConvEGGtor — and bring the temperature to 180˚C. Finely chop the smoked onion and garlic (removing their skins before you do) and add to a Cast Iron Skillet with 2 tbsp olive oil. Cook until translucent. Add the cinnamon and oregano and cook for 5 minutes and then stir in the lamb. Turn up the heat to 220˚C and brown the lamb well, cooking out all of the moisture.
While the lamb is browning, grill the smoked aubergine slices on the Stainless Steel Grid, so they become caramelized and fully cooked through. You might need to do this in batches. Remove and put to one side. Stir the tomato and wine into the Cast Iron Skillet with the lamb, bring to a simmer, then turn the heat down to 120˚C and cook for 30–40 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. At this stage, stir in the parsley.
MAKE THE BÉCHAMEL
When the meat sauce is done, set it to one side and make your béchamel. Increase the EGG's temperature to 180˚C and bring the milk to just below boiling point in a pan. Melt the butter in another saucepan.
Stir the flour into the butter and cook for a couple of minutes, then gradually whisk in the hot milk. Cook until you have a thick sauce, then stir in the pecorino cheese until melted. Take off the heat and allow to cool slightly, then beat in the eggs, ricotta and about 1½ tsp of grated nutmeg. Salt to taste.
Arrange a third of the aubergines in the base of a Cast Iron Skillet and top with half the meat. Repeat these layers, then finish off with a layer of aubergine. Top with the béchamel sauce. Press the whole block of feta into the middle of the topping.
Bake in the EGG for about 45 minutes until well browned. Serve with a crisp green salad.