Monday, 7 July 2014

Comfort homemade lasagne :-)

So, it’s a dreary Monday.  Nothing beats my very own Lasagne on days like this.  It’s comfort eating at its best and one of my favourite dinners. It certainly is my “signature dish”!

It is quite a lengthy process, with different stages, but worth every single bit!
I enjoy the preparation and cooking of this dish, when you have the time.
I have tried and tested this dish so many times and this is what I’ve come up with for a very yummy scrumptious treat.  
This can most certainly be made a healthier option……THIS IS NOT IT!!

And here’s how it’s done:
For the Bolognese mix (please don’t use a jar!!!)
  • In a skillet, sauté chopped carrots in some flora cuisine on med to soften
  • Add chopped onion, mushrooms & garlic
  • Soften for a bit longer
  • Add beef mince and brown (keep mixing so as not to burn)
  • Season salt & pepper
  • Once the meat is browned, drain all the excess oil/fat
  • Return to heat and add a “good” glug of red wine
  • Turn heat to medium and reduce (cook the red wine down)
  • Now add 2 tblsp tomato puree and mix
  • Add can tin of chopped tomatoes (or if you have the patience to cook and peel your very own fresh tomatoes, feel free to do so!)
  • Season again and add some chopped basil
  • Cover and cook for approx 30 minutes

This is now your Bolognese base which is used for lasagne, spaghetti Bolognese or simply added to a plate of mash potatoes.  Ideal for kids over plain pasta for a snack too.  I tend to do up a batch and can be frozen.

For the white/béchamel sauce:
While your Bolognese is cooking, make your béchamel sauce.  It is so easy!
  • Melt 1 ½ tblsp butter in a saucepan over med heat
  • Slowly add 2 ½ tblsp plain flour / corn flour ( I use corn flour ), using a fork to stops lumps forming
  • Add 300mls warm milk (not boiling), stirring, gradually until all the milk is gone
  • Season with Salt & pepper

NOTE: This can be used for parsley sauce by adding about 13 tblsp chopped parsley.
              Or add cheese & bacon to it for a great pasta dish.

Once all these stages are complete, you’re ready to assemble your lasagne for your last stage in the oven.

Assembling lasagne:
  • In an oven proof dish, start by placing a spoon of your Bolognese mix in the bottom of dish
  • Top with lasagne sheets.  Do not over lap but make sure you get a full layer down
  • Spoon some béchamel sauce over the lasagne
  • Follow this with more Bolognese mix and a grating of cheese of your choice
  • This is how you stack your lasagne until all your Bolognese and sauce is used up
  • NOTE: the more lasagne sheets you use the better.  You don’t have to add too much of your meet mix and sauce on each layer.
  • Be careful, some lasagne sheets require pre cook.  I find the sheets that don’t need the pre cook.
  • Once your lasagne is assembled, end with your Bolognese mix on the top, grate some cheese over it, add some slices of fresh yummy tomatoes, 2 or 3 knobs of butter and a sprinkle of pepper.
  • Place in pre heated oven about 180 degrees for 30 mins.  (Place an oven tray on the bottom shelf to catch any drips!

Et Voila!  Your very own homemade lasagne, perfect with some homemade chips/wedges (recipes to follow!!) or tasty garlic bread. 
A crowd pleaser every time!!  Xx

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