Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Lasagne

Corey's favourite meal is steak and kidney pie, just like his mother makes it. I don't like steak that much, and I'm not that keen on kidneys. I'll eat it, but it's not in my top 10 of meal choices. I tried to make it for him once, and failed to make it taste the way he liked it. I may attempt to make it again at some point in the future. Luckily I've discovered something I make that he likes almost as much. 

Unfortunately it takes me 4 - 6 hours to make. Trust me, it's worth it. It just means I can't make it as often as he'd like. Unfortunately it also means I can't have lasagna at a restaurant. It never, ever tastes as good. 

We had this as a main for our New Years eve dinner. I made a few changes to how I usually make it, and I'm probably going to stick with the changes as it tasted very good. 

Ingredients (all ingredients are rough measurements)

Olive oil
250 gs pancetta
1 Onion
2 Celery sticks
Garlic: to taste. I like my stuff fairly garlicky, others like it less so. 
500 gs Beef Mince
1 wine glass of white wine (plus an extra glass for the cook)
1 wine glass of milk
2 cans of chopped tomatoes
1 Mozzarella ball
400 mls White sauce (one day I will make my own. New Years eve was not my day)
200 mls cheese sauce (I use the bisto tubs and mix the white sauce and cheese sauce together)
2 carrots
1 courgette
Swartz Italian seasoning (if you have herbs like basil and oregano, use them instead)
Salt
Pepper
Lasagne sheets

Sometimes I add mushrooms, it all depends on whats in my fridge at the time. I say if there's anything you like in a bolognese, add that.

Chop all the vegetables into fairly small chunks. 

Fry the onion, garlic, celery and pancetta until the pancetta is cooked and the onion soft. Do this on a low to medium heat. You want to heat everything slowly. Brown the mince. 

Add the wine, chopped tomatoes, carrots, courgette and milk. This is when I add the mushrooms, too. Season to taste. Go crazy. If you like a bit of spice, add chillies. If you prefer it herby, add more herbs. I tend to change what I put in according to what I feel like on that day.

And now you wait. Stir every half an hour or so to ensure things don't burn. Reduce the sauce until its nice and thick. This can take anything from 3 to 4 hours. On New Years, because I had a tiny  pot and had to gradually add ingredients, it took me 5 hours. 

Make up the white sauce and cheese sauce. As I said, I tend to make up a 500ml jug where I make a mix of white sauce and cheese sauce together. I know, I know, not your typical lasagna white sauce layer, but the more cheese the merrier I say! Chop up the mozzarella ball. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees c.

Layer your lasagne as you like it. On the final layer of white/cheese sauce, I sprinkle the mozzarella on top. As much as you can sprinkle something that sticks to your fingers. 

Put it into the oven for 40 minutes. 

Enjoy. 

Trust me, it's tastier than it looks
Oh, the sauce I use for the lasagne is the same I use when making spaghetti bolognese. Yes, it's not a quick Monday after work meal, but this is a lovely Saturday or Sunday evening meal, and makes enough to be used the next day. And what the slow cooking creates is this gorgeous taste sensation.

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