BEEF LASAGNE – SIMPLY DELICIOUS
Take a look at these…there are just a few ingredients for this simple family lasagne. You can make the recipe ‘more special’ by using eg Gruyere or Parmesan cheese in the sauce.
I have used good quality minced beef from my local butcher so I know exactly what is in it (and what is not in it..). Time can be an issue when choosing a local butcher or the supermarket but you can always in larger quantities and then freeze the meat. So stop horsing around and make your own!
RECIPE FOR BEEF LASAGNE SIMPLY DELICIOUS
Vegetable oil e.g. sunflower
2 large onions, peeled and chopped
500g good quality minced beef
3 or 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped small
3 med carrots, peeled and chopped
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 beef stock cube
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
White sauce: (in a microwave)
2 tbsp. corn flour
600ml milk (plus some more)
Approx. 100g – about ½ a packet ready grated ‘pizza’ cheese, a mix of mozzarella and cheddar cheese)
6 sheets dried lasagne pasta
Handful grated stronger cheese e.g. mature cheddar)
- Heat 4 tbsp. of oil in a heavy based pan that has a lid, on a medium heat. Add the onions and cook until golden. You may need to add a little more oil. Add the minced beef and brown well. Don’t worry if they start to ‘catch’ a little as this adds to the depth of flavour.
- When cooked through, move the mixture to one side, add the chopped garlic and cook briefly in the oil and then mix into the meat and onion mixture.
- Add the carrots, can of chopped tomatoes. Swish out the can with water and add about ½ (keep rest in case you need it). Crumble in the stock cube and season well to taste.
- Leave to simmer with lid on until cooked (check that the carrots are cooked!)
- Make the white sauce-this is easily done in the microwave but you can do it traditionally by making a ‘roux’*. Put the flour in a plastic jug and add a little of the milk, whisk with a balloon type whisk until there are no lumps. Whisk in the rest of the milk. Cook in a microwave on high heat for 3 minutes, take it out and whisk. Repeat for another 3 minutes and then beat well again. Now add the grated mozzarella/cheese and stir with a wooden spoon. For this dish you need quite a thin sauce so add more milk or milk and water as necessary. Season well.
- I used a rectangular oven proof dish 20cm x 29cm. Now layer the lasagne-first of all half the meat mixture in the base of the dish. Then cover with about 3 sheets of lasagne, in a single layer. Now half the white sauce, then the rest of the meat mixture. Cover with 3 sheets of lasagne and finally pour over the rest of the white sauce.
- Finally scatter the top of the lasagne with the strong
cheese. Place it on a sheet in case the lasagne boils over.
- Bake in a hot oven for about 45 minutes until the top is golden. Check that the lasagne sheets are cooked by inserting the tip of a knife.
- Serve with garlic bread and a crispy salad.
- Add other vegetables e.g. sliced leeks, frozen peas or sweet corn
- For a more ‘luxury’ version mix e.g. grated Gruyere cheese with the mozzarella in the sauce and then sprinkle Gruyere on the top. Or you can use grated Parmesan cheese in the same way
- 40g plain flour/40g butter/450ml cold milk (you can infuse this with a bay leaf and a few pepper corns-then pour through a sieve and allow to cool)
- Melt the butter in a pan, add half the butter and incorporate, add the rest of the flour and beat well. Cook for about 3 mins to get rid of the taste of flour. Gradually add the cold milk, whisking as you go to get rid of any lumps.