LASAGNA FROM SCRATCH
After two full days of cooking at the game fest this year I've got to say that the last thing I wanted to do for my tea was fire up another barbecue. Even the toughest of barbecue enthusiasts have their limit you know. So when Mrs Shack offered to make a lasagna from scratch using some lovely steak mince from our Heartier box subscription I was happy to oblige. The thought of a hearty serving of cheesey, meaty pasta and homemade bechamel was music to my ears after a day of slaving over hot grills.
Although this recipe admittedly takes a tad longer than using store bought ready made sauces there really is no comparison. But you'll never know unless you give it a go!
For the meaty filling
- 400 g good quality beef mince
- 1 onion diced
- 4 stalks celery diced
- 1 large carrot grated
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1 pack or jar passata
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 100 ml beef stock Mrs S did in fact sub this and used the pan drippings from our SKILLET PAN PULLED PORK recipe for a smokey porky twist
- salt and pepper to taste
For the bechamel sauce
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 500 ml milk
- 100 g grated parmesan cheese
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
For the lasagna
- 150 g mozzarella cheese
- 1 pack fresh lasagna sheets from the chiller aisle
- basil to serve
Heat some oil in a large skillet pan big enough to incorporate all your meaty ingredients. Add the garlic, onion, celery and carrot and cook on a low to medium heat until softened and before they turn brown.
Add the beef and turn up to medium, breaking up the meat so it cooks evenly. Once the beef has browned
Add the passata, tomato paste, salt, pepper, herbs and stock to the mixture and stir to incorporate the ingredients together. Simmer away for about an hour to allow the juices to thicken.
To make the bechamel
Melt the butter in a skillet pan on a low heat and add the flour. It will start to stick together quickly.
Add a third of the milk and mix the ingredients together. You may need to use a small whisk to remove any lumps. Add another third of milk and stir. Add the last third then stir. Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper and stir until it is a consistency which is able to spread across the pasta sheets. Add more milk if needed.
To make the lasagna
Add a layer of your meaty mixture to the bottom of a baking dish. Add a layer of the lasagna sheets to cover the first layer, cutting the sheets to size where needed.
Add a layer of bechamel, another layer of meat, then a layer of lasagna sheets. Top tip... each layer of lasagna sheets alternate the direction of the layer. This was when you cut through there will be no annoying gaps in the pasta!
Repeat the bechamel, meat and lasagna sheet process another two times, ending with a layer of lasagna sheets. Sprinkle the grated mozzarella along the top in a nice thick layer across the lasagna.
Bake in the oven at 180C for 25 minutes until bubbly and golden. Allow to cool for five minutes before cutting and serving.
This recipe was probably enough for 4 hearty servings, but if you feeding a larger brood simply double up the ingredients.