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home > recipes > meat > venison mussaqa'a
3 pounds coarsely ground lean venison (loin, haunch or shoulder) 1 onion, chopped fine 2 cups tomato puree 1 to 2 tbs ground allspice 1 to 2 tbs ground cinnamon 1 tbs ground nutmeg 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil salt and pepper to taste 2 large eggplants Prepared Bechamel sauce (see below) Slice unpeeled eggplants into discs about 3/4" thick. Sprinkle the slices with salt on both sides and set aside for at least one hour. Next prepare the meat filling. Add the onion and the spices to the ground venison and mix thoroughly. Brown the spiced meat in a skillet, until it is thoroughly cooked; don't let it burn! When the juices have been reabsorbed into the meat, add the tomato puree and continue to cook slowly untill all of the liquid has been absorbed again. Add the olive oil, stir to blend, and set aside. Now prepare the bechamel sauce: melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a deep saucepan, and add 1 tablespoon oilve oil. When the butter is completely melted take the pot off the stove and add 3 tablespoons of flour, stirring until thoroughly blended. Return to the stove and when the mixture begins to bubble, add slowly 2 cups cold milk, stirring constantly. When the milk has heated the mixture will begin to thicken; as it gets thicker and thicker, add slowly up to 1 cup of chicken broth to adjust the consistency, and add salt and pepper to taste. The end product should be quite thick and creamy-looking; add to this one beaten egg, stir well, and set aside. By this time the eggplants will have begun to "sweat" and they will be ready to fry. Press the slices with paper towels gently to absorb excess moisture and deep fry in at least 1" of hot cooking oil. Brown both sides of each slice and set aside to drain. To assemble the final dish, lightly oil a deep covered casserole with olive oil. Layer eggplant slices over the bottom, covering as much of the surface as possible. Then spoon in the meat mixture and spread it evenly over the eggplant layer. On top of this put the rest of the eggplant slices, again covering as much of the surface as you can. Pour the bechamel sauce over the top and spread it evenly with a spatula. Put the lid on the casserole and back at 350 degrees for about an hour and a half or so. The contents should be bubbling hot when you remove it from the oven; a little extra time won't hurt. If any grease has risen during the baking process it can be sucked out with a turkey baster and discarded. This recipe easily will produce enough to feed four to six people, and makes a fine centerpiece for a meal with a Middle Eastern theme. And even your friends who "don't like venison" will enjoy it--guaranteed! In fact, unless you tell them, they'll never know it was venison.

Venison Mussaqa'a


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(posted March 5, 2005)

3 pounds coarsely ground
lean venison (loin, haunch or shoulder)
1
onion, chopped fine
2 cups
tomato puree
1 to 2 tbs ground
allspice
1 to 2 tbs ground
cinnamon
1 tbs ground
nutmeg
1/4 to 1/2 cup
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 large eggplants
Prepared Bechamel
sauce (see below)

Slice unpeeled eggplants into discs about 3/4"
thick. Sprinkle the slices with salt on both sides and set aside for at least one hour.

Next prepare the meat filling. Add the
onion and the spices to the ground venison and mix thoroughly. Brown the spiced meat in a skillet, until it is thoroughly cooked; don't let it burn! When the juices have been reabsorbed into the meat, add the
tomato puree and continue to cook slowly untill all of the liquid has been absorbed again. Add the olive oil, stir to blend, and set aside.

Now prepare the bechamel
sauce: melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a deep saucepan, and add 1 tablespoon oilve oil. When the butter is completely melted take the
pot off the stove and add 3 tablespoons of flour, stirring until thoroughly blended. Return to the stove and when the mixture begins to bubble, add slowly 2 cups cold milk, stirring constantly. When the milk has heated the mixture will begin to thicken; as it gets thicker and thicker, add slowly up to 1 cup of chicken broth to adjust the consistency, and add salt and pepper to taste. The end product should be quite thick and creamy-looking; add to this one beaten egg, stir well, and set aside.

By this time the eggplants will have begun to "sweat" and they will be ready to
fry. Press the slices with paper towels gently to absorb excess moisture and deep fry in at least 1" of hot cooking oil. Brown both sides of each slice and set aside to drain.

To assemble the final dish, lightly oil a
deep covered casserole with
olive oil. Layer eggplant slices over the bottom, covering as much of the surface as possible. Then spoon in the meat mixture and spread it evenly over the eggplant layer. On top of this put the rest of the eggplant slices, again covering as much of the surface as you can. Pour the bechamel sauce over the top and spread it evenly with a spatula.

Put the lid on the
casserole and back at 350 degrees for about an hour and a half or so. The contents should be bubbling hot when you remove it from the oven; a little extra time won't hurt. If any grease has risen during the baking process it can be sucked out with a
turkey baster and discarded.

This recipe easily will produce enough to feed four to six people, and makes a fine centerpiece for a
meal with a Middle Eastern theme. And even your friends who "don't like venison" will enjoy it--guaranteed! In fact, unless you tell them, they'll never know it was venison.


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