06 Nov Ultimate lasagna recipe
Yes, for a big Italian family
For this incredible dish you’ll need:
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
100 g smoked streaky bacon
1 kg quality minced beef
1 kg quality minced pork
4 sticks of celery
2 tbs tomato purée
4 x 400 g tins of plum tomatoes
350 g lasagna sheets
150 g mature Cheddar cheese
2 medium leeks
2 fresh bay leaves
4 tbs plain flour
1 l milk 2,5%
1 whole nutmeg, for grating
Cooking ultimate lasagna:
1. Strip and finely chop the rosemary leaves and finely chop the bacon.
2. Heat 1 tbs of oil in a large casserole pan on high heat. When it’ll become hot, add the rosemary and bacon and fry for 2 min, or until the bacon starts to crisp up, (stir it regularly).
3. Add all the minced meat, using a wooden spoon to break it up. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for at least 10 min, or until all the liquid has evaporated, (stir it occasionally).
4. Grate the Cheddar, then tip into a bowl.
5. Grate and halve the carrots, then add to the meat roughly the same size. Peel and halve the onions, add them to the meat too.
6. Chop the celery and it to the meat. Cook for 15 to 20 min, or until the vegetables start to soften (stir it regularly).
7. Next, add the tomato puree and plum tomatoes, breaking them up with a spoon.
Give everything a good stir and reduce the heat to low. Leave to simmer around 2 hours, (stir it occasionally).
8. While that ticks away, make your white sauce. Trim, wash and finely slice the leeks, then add to a pan along with 2 tbs of oil and the bay leaves. Stir well and season with a tiny pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
9. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 30 min, add splashes of water if needed.
10. Add the flour and stir well to coat, then gradually add the milk, (stir it continuously). Turn the heat up to medium, let it boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 5/10 min, (stir it regularly).
11. Carefully transfer the sauce to the blender and mix it until smooth and silky. Add half the grated cheese and finely grate over half the nutmeg and mix well. Season to taste.
12. Once the stew is ready, preheat the oven to 190ºC.
13. Season the stew to taste, then transfer half into freezer bags, portioning up as appropriate for your family. Cool them to room temperature, then pop in the freezer for another day. It’s a good idea to freeze them flat so that you can reheat them quickly and easily. It’s also a good idea to label and date them to avoid a game of freezer roulette in a few weeks’ time!
14. To build your lasagne, spoon a quarter of the stew into a large deep ovenproof dish (roughly 25cm by 30cm) and spread it out evenly.
15. Spoon over a quarter of the white sauce, then snap over some lasagne sheets, making sure they completely cover the sauce in one layer. Repeat this 3 times, finishing with a layer of white sauce.
16. Sprinkle over the cheese and bake the lasagne in the oven for 45 min or until golden and bubbling.
17. Remove the lasagne from the oven and leave to sit for 5 to 10 min before serving.