Mamta's Kitchen

Beef Lasagne

Beef Lasagne

Steve Lister

This is a version of my Lasagne recipe which like everything else I keep changing over time, adding a bit, taking a bit away etc. Making Lasagne sounds like a lot of hard work, but if you use a food processor or in my case a mandolin, to chop the onions and vegetables, it doesn't take that long to get it going! This amount is enough to fill 2 large lasagne dishes, serves 10.

Ingredients

  • Meat Sauce

  • 2 large Lasagne dishes

  • 700-1000 gm. minced beef

  • 100 ml. Olive oil for cooking

  • 3 onions (cricket ball sized) peeled and finely diced

  • 3-5 carrots peeled and finely diced

  • 3-5 sticks of celery - finely diced

  • 2-3 red peppers (sweet capsicum or bell pepper) - 1/2 inch dice

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 tablespoon garlic Pur

  • 1 tablespoon tomato pur

  • 2-3 stock cubes (or the new stock pots)

  • 2 tablespoons Red wine vinegar ( a good splash)

  • 2 large glasses Red wine (about half a 750 ml. bottle)

  • 2-3 tins, 400 gm. each, of chopped tomatoes or passata (purd tomatoes)

  • Spice mix

  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika*

  • 2 tsp. oregano*

  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon powder*

  • 1 tsp. black pepper*

  • Cheese Sauce

  • 100 ml. Olive oil for cooking

  • 1 onion - finely diced

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 tsp. celery salt

  • 1 tsp. English mustard

  • 1/2 tsp. oregano

  • 1/2 tsp. garlic pur

  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

  • 1 large mug of plain white flour (using only what is needed)

  • 300-400.gm. of Cheddar cheese - grated

  • Milk 500-1000 ml. (depends on how much flour you need to use and how dry it is)

  • **Optional - baby spinach, fresh tomatoes, mushrooms for adding to the layers For putting together the lasagne

  • 2-3 boxes (250 gm. each) of Pasta sheets depends on size and amount of layers

  • 300 gm. cheddar cheese, grated (for topping)

  • 300 gm. mozzarella cheese, grated (for topping)

Instructions

  1. Making Meat Sauce

  2. In a large thick bottomed pan, heat the olive oil, add bay leave and onions and brown the onions until dark golden in colour.

  3. Add the carrot and celery and cook until softened.

  4. Add the peppers and cook for a couple of minutes.

  5. Add the minced beef and allow it to brown.

  6. Add the spices*, garlic, tomato pur and cook out for a couple of minutes.

  7. Add the stock cubes (crumble it on top), vinegar, red wine and tinned tomatoes. If the mix is still quite dry add some extra water so it doesn't burn during the cooking. Bring it to the boil and then turn to a low simmer for a good couple of hours, until it looks like a thick sauce.

  8. Making the Cheese sauce. You can be doing this while waiting for the meat sauce to cook.

  9. Heat the olive oil and bay leaves in another large pan and soften these rather than brown. Then remove the bay leaves and add the flour, stirring until it thickens into almost a dry paste.

  10. Add the spices, mustard and garlic then start to add milk a splash at first, while stirring vigorously, until all is added. The mix should become smooth. Once the heat is turned up and you cook it stirring all the time, it will thicken into a nice, custard like sauce.

  11. Turn heat off, add the cheese and stir until its melted. Keep aside.

  12. Building the Lasagne

  13. Start with a thin layer of the meat sauce at the base of each of the lasagne dish, then a layer of the shop bought lasagne sheets, another layer of meat sauce, more sheets, a layer of cheese sauce, more sheets, until you are near the top. The last layer should be the cheese sauce for the topping to be added.

  14. Sprinkle a mixture of the two grated cheeses over the top and then put in a medium hot oven for about 20-40 minutes while the cheese melts and browns a little and the pasta cooks.

  15. Serving suggestion

  16. Serve with fresh salad and my favourite, home made garlic bread! It also goes well with a side of chips.

Notes

  • If using dried pasta sheets you may need to add a little extra water to both sauces as it dries them up a

  • little. If using fresh pasta make the sauce a little drier and reduce the amount of time its in the oven by putting it on high, so its just browning the cheese as the pasta won't take as long to cook.

  • I like to add extras to each of the meat layers as I'm building it up, so a layer with fried mushrooms, a layer with fresh baby spinach, a layer with finely sliced fresh tomatoes (or even a few chopped sun-dried tomatoes (anything that fits in really).

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