So one of my favourite dinners ever is lasagne, as those of you who know me are well aware of. And today I had 2 lb beef to use up, but was rather short of cannelloni, so I decided on lasagne instead. And I shall now share how I made said lasagne with you. With lack of decent pictures cos I forgot..oops. But pictures minus a serving or two! There seems to be plenty of variety in making Lasagne. This is mise’s one. (Mise = My. Gaeilge lesson for today done)
Makes a whole lotta lasagne:2lb round steak mince (or whatever the best mince is called there :)) 1 large onion 3-5 cloves of garlic depending on size and your love of it! 1 pepper (red is best, I used green today) 1 carrot 100g mushrooms or so 2 little tins of tomato puree. Probably about 1 cup in total for all you people on the other side of the pond 2 tins chopped tomato 1 tsp of sugar
Oregano Basil About 16 sheets of fresh lasagne pasta – enough for 4 layers in your lasagne dish.
For the Bechamel2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour about 4-500 mls milk A small pinch of salt A pinch of grated nutmeg A handful or two of Cheese (You can layer cheese, but I put it in the sauce) – Parmesan, Cheddar and anything else that delights your taste buds
Righty oh. So preheat your oven to a toasty 180 degrees.
1. Dice your vegetables as you like them. I have taken to saving time lately by whizzing them in my food processor. Its a mini one and super easy to clean, and I like finely chopped veg in my sauces etc. So I love my mini food processor.. How I love it!
2. Heat some oil in a pan (or spray if you’re WWing). Gently fry the onion and garlic until soft and delicious smelling.
3. Add your other vegetables and fry some more until they are soft also!
4. Now there are two ways to do this. You can empty out your vegetables and then fry your meat. Or you can pop it in with the vegetables. Just make sure you get it all browned to avoid the old food poisoning!
5. When the meat is browned, you can drain off a ladleful of juice if you want. Otherwise stir in 2 tbsp of flour and stir around. It should thicken the juices in the pan.
6. Pop in your tomato puree, tins of tomatoes, sugar and herbs. Re herbs: pop in as much as you need, again it’s taste dependent. If you are using dried herbs I would start with a half tsp of each. Herbs are good. Too many herbs are not!
7. Okily dokily. Leave that to simmer a wee bit. Not too long.About 10 mins of a very low heat while you make your Bechamel.
8. Bechamel time. Pop another pan (Washing up, I’m sorry, I know, I know) onto a medium heat and melt your butter. When it’s melted throw in your flour and stir it around until it forms a ball-like dough-type thing with the butter. Cook it for 1 minute over the heat.
9. Add the milk. Now this is awkward. You cannot put all the milk in at once because you will have milk with bits of ball-like-dough-like stuff in it. So about 1/2 a cup at a time, pour in your milk, whisking vigourously after each addition until smooth. Eventually you shall end up with a nice creamy white sauce. Add your nutmeg and salt. And a handful of each of your cheeses! Taste and add more seasoning if you need to!
10. The fun part. Layer time! It goes pasta, 1/3 meat sauce, 1/3 cheese sauce (/white sauce and grated cheese layer), pasta, meat sauce… you get the idea.
11. Into the oven it goes for about 35 to 45 minutes.If you reeeeally need to or simply want to you can sprinkle a layer of grated cheddar on top 10 minutes before it’s cooked for some extra cheesy goodness. When its done serve with a glorious side salad of lettuce, cherry tomato, red onion, cucumber and yellow pepper drizzled with some olive oil and GOOD Italian balsamic vinegar and enjoy as much as I do.
Here’s one I made earlier:
12. Call a cleaning company to wash up. I wish.
This should last a good while, it’s a massive lasagne. You can also have lasagne for dessert. Mmmm lasagne…
P.S. Without the cheese this is relatively low-fat. I use skimmed milk for the bechamel! The meat I use is at least 95% fat-free.