Lasagne

Lasagne

 

Almost everyone loves  a great lasagne. This recipe from Guest Chef Brenda Clough, is especially tasty, and offers a quick ‘cheats’ béchamel sauce, as well as the traditional way of making it, both with the addition of some parmesan cheese for extra flavour.

 

Ingredients

  • 6-8 easy cook Lasagne sheets (or more if you wish)
  • 40g freshly grated parmesan

Meat Sauce

  • 200g lean steak mince
  • 2 echalion shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 400g tin chopped plum tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 150ml red wine
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper for seasoning

Cheats Béchamel sauce

  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 300ml milk
  • salt and white pepper for seasoning

Traditional Béchamel sauce

  • 300ml milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 peppercorns
  • 25g butter
  • 20g plain flour
  • salt and white pepper for seasoning

Method

 Meat Sauce

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium  heat and sauté the chopped shallots and crushed garlic for for 2 minutes, until soft but not coloured.
  2. Add the minced beef steak and and sauté for a few minutes until browned.
  3. Add the wine and cook for a further minute.
  4. Now add the  chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, the crumbled beef stock cube and the dried herbs.
  5. Cover with a lid and simmer gently for 2o minutes.
  6. Remove the lid, raise the heat  and cook for a further 5-10 minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened a little. Stir occasionally to prevent the sauce sticking to the bottom and burning.
  7.  Whilst the sauce is reducing, make up the béchamel sauce.

Cheats Béchamel sauce

  1. Mix the cornflour with the milk in a small saucepan.
  2. Stir it constantly and cook over a low heat until the sauce thickens.
  3. Add half of the grated parmesan cheese and cook for two minutes.
  4. Adjust the seasoning, and your sauce is ready.

Traditional Béchamel sauce

  1. Put the milk in a saucepan with the bay leaf,  and peppercorns and bring to a simmer.
  2. Pour into a bowl and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Then strain the milk into a jug.
  3. Put a clean pan back on a low heat and gently melt the butter, stir in the flour using a wooden spoon or a small whisk, and cook for 1 minute. Do not let the butter or flour brown.
  4. Take the pan off the heat and add the milk in 3 steps. At each stage beat or whisk the milk into the flour until it is completely smooth.
  5. Once the milk is all in, bring the mixture back up to a simmer, stirring all the time to stop any lumps forming.
  6. Once the mixture looks as if it will not thicken any more, add half of the parmesan cheese, and simmer it for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it looks  glossy.
  7. Season with salt and white pepper. If you do have a few lumps, just strain it  through a sieve.

Assemble the lasagne

  1. Heat the oven to 200°C / Fan 180°C.
  2. In a high sided 20cm square oven proof dish, starting with meat sauce, create alternate layers  of  meat then pasta, and then top with béchamel.
  3. Finally sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese.
  4.  Cook for approx 30-40 minutes until the top is golden and bubbling.

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