Recipe by Chris.
Lasagne is truly a labour of love, it takes a lot of effort and time but the end result is one of the greatest comfort foods on the planet. This is one of my favourite dishes and I want to share my recipe so you can enjoy it too!
With regards to the meat, if you struggle to find minced pork, lamb works too, or you can even go all beef. Just make sure you have a kg of mince meat in total. (I even used turkey once out of desperation and it turned out pretty well!).
For the Bolognese
500g Beef mince meat
500g Pork mince meat
4 medium carrots – chopped as finely as possible
7 sticks of celery – chopped as finely as possible
10 streaky bacon rashers – chopped as finely as possible
3 medium white onions – chopped as finely as possible
4 cloves garlic– chopped as finely as possible
750ml bottle of red wine – a Spanish Rioja is best but any red will do the trick
3 tins chopped tomatoes
3 dried bay leaves
3 tablespoons rapeseed oil
½ a heaped teaspoon of salt
1 heaped teaspoon of black pepper
For the Béchamal Sauce
1.5 litres of whole milk
150g salted butter
150g Plain Flour
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 bay leaves
2 packets dried lasagne sheets
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 4 hours
Serves: 8 people
For the Bolognese sauce
1. Pour 250ml of red wine into a glass and reserve the other 500ml in the bottle.
2. Drink the glass of wine as you are following the next steps (III) to (IV).
3. Heat a large heavy lidded pan on a medium to high heat, add the oil, chopped bacon and bay leaves and keep stirring until the bacon is turning slightly brown and a little crispy, don’t overdo it, around 5 minutes should be enough, make sure not to burn it.
4. Add the chopped onions, carrot and celery and fry, stirring every few minutes until softened and just starting to brown, 10 - 15 minutes roughly.
5. Add the Garlic, stir it through and fry for 1 minute.
6. Add both of the meats and continue to cook, stirring every few minutes until the meat is completely browned.
7. Add the salt and pepper.
8. Add the reserved 500ml of wine to the pot.
9. You have probably drank your glass of wine at this stage so you might want to crack open another bottle if you have it and pour yourself a glass.
10. Once the wine has cooked down by about half add the chopped tomatoes and stir.
11. Turn the heat down to low, put on the lid and cook for 2 - 2 ½ hours, stirring every 10 – 15 minutes. Keep an eye on it and if it starts to stick or burn add a splash of water.
12. 15 minutes before the meat is ready, start cooking your bechamel sauce.
For the Béchamel Sauce
1. Melt the butter with the bay leaves in the pan on a low heat.
2. Add the flour to the melted butter and whisk.
3. Pour the milk in a little bit at a time, whisking with each bit added.
4. When all the milk has whisked in, add the nutmeg, salts and pepper.
5. Warm until the sauce starts to thicken but do not let it boil!
Be careful when spacing everything out as you don't want to add too much of an ingredient or run out before you are finished. You'll want to make sure that there is enough Béchamel sauce for the topping, so don't go too overboard with it!
1. Spread a layer of Bolognese on the bottom of the dish.
2. Add a layer of Béchamel Sauce.
3. Add a layer of Lasagne sheets, covering the whole lasagne but not overlapping.
4. I normally repeat the above 3 times, then top the last layer of Lasagne sheets with Béchamel sauce and then sprinkle over the grated cheee.
5. Bake in an oven, pre-heated to 200 degrees for 40 minutes.
6. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. This will prevent it falling apart when dishing it up.