Slow cooked moussaka

I haven’t written up a food post for a while. It’s partly because our oven has been broken for a few weeks – I know, shocking, I’m not sure how I’ve coped without baking therapy; well actually I do, it’s been sewing therapy instead, making some funky wet bags for the boys’ nappies! And it’s partly because I’ve been busy writing breastfeeding posts and doing stuff for the Nappyness Cloth Nappy LIbrary. The oven is now fixed so hopefully I can do some more baking next weekend.

moussaka Collage 2

With a broken oven, I’ve been so glad that we have a slow cooker. Last week we had an aubergine in the veg box, and as I was thinking about what I could do with it, moussaka sprang to mind. I think traditionally this is done with lamb, but as I can’t stand lamb, I went for turkey instead, as that’s the meat that I often substitute when a recipe calls for minced beef or lamb (I also make a turkey shepherd’s pie for example). I had a quick google and the first hit for slow cooked moussaka was another blog with a recipe that seemed to fit the bill. So, as usual, I adapted it to what we had in and my own tastes, and this is what I came up with….

moussaka Collage 1

The verdict from my boys was very positive, so much so that Tom suggested I cook it again when the younger boys’ Godmum came round for lunch on Sunday.

Ingredients

  • 1 aubergine
  • 1/2 courgette
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons tomato purée
  • handful of herbs (I had fresh sage in the tubs)
  • 400g turkey mince
  • olive oil
  • 1 pack feta

Method

  1. Slice the aubergine and courgette into fairly thin rounds.
  2. Chop the onion and garlic, and heat in a frying pan with some olive oil, until they start to brown.
  3. Add the minced turkey and cook until just grey.
  4. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree and herbs, and stir well.
  5. Put about one third of the turkey mixture in the bottom of the slow cooker pot.
  6. On top of this, place a layer of sliced aubergine and courgette.
  7. Put about another third of the turkey mixture on top, then another aubergine/courgette layer, and repeat with the last third of the turkey mixture and the last of the veg.
  8. Cook on low for about 7-8 hours.
  9. In the last hour of cooking, add the feta to the top and replace the lid.
  10. Serve with rice, and freeze any that you don’t eat – it defrosts to make a yummy meal later in the week 🙂

#slowcooked turkey and leeks with crunchy crust

Wow a meaty recipe, can you believe your eyes?! It is true that I don’t cook or eat a lot of meat (and when I do it’s only chicken or turkey), but as Joel is starting solids, I want to give him the opportunity to taste meat along with all the other foods he is trying as part of a very varied introduction to food. So I bought some turkey last weekend and cooked a dish in the slow cooker that was suitable for him to eat with us – most of what we eat is baby-friendly anyway.

turkey leek Collage
Mummy/Daddy-sized, toddler-sized, and baby-sized portions

The turkey went lovely and tender as it was slow cooked, so this was perfect for him who has no teeth quite yet. The vegetables were some of those that we got in our box that week. The ‘crunchy crust’ is a basic suet pastry that I baked separately in the oven as pastry doesn’t work in the slow cooker – it’s not hot enough to get it crunchy rather than soggy. I assembled the turkey and leeks with the crust on our individual dishes when serving the meal. Joel enjoyed munching on some turkey, mushroom and pastry (which went soggy after he gummed it for a while), though he wasn’t sure about the leeks – they are a bit weird to it without teeth I think.

Here’s the recipe, which was a bit more time-consuming than some of my ‘chuck it in the slow cooker’ recipes, but still only took about 20 minutes to prep then 7 hours to cook in the slow cooker plus a quick shove of a baking tray into the oven half an hour before it was ready.

Ingredients – serves 4

  • 250g turkey
  • Olive oil
  • 3 small leeks
  • 3 large mushrooms
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 400ml hot stock (I use low salt)
  • 120g self-raising flour
  • 60g vegetable suet
  • mixed herbs
  • cold water
Method
  1. Fry turkey for a few minutes in olive oil to seal it.
  2. Chop the leeks and mushrooms and put in the slow cooker pot.
  3. Crush the garlic cloves and add to the pot.
  4. Add the tomatoes and stock.
  5. When the turkey is sealed put it into the pot and stir.
  6. Cook on low for 7 hours.
  7. Mix the flour, suet and herbs together, and add just enough water to form a dough.
  8. Roll it out on a lightly floured surface and cut out four large squares.
  9. Place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and chill until about half an hour before the turkey mix is cooked, then put it in the oven at 180ºC and bake for 20-30 minutes until it is crisp and lightly golden.
  10. Assemble the pies individually in bowls by spooning the turkey mix in and placing the pastry on top.
  11. Eat straight away!