It's winter here now in Wellington and warm, comforting recipes are high on my agenda. An all time classic in our household: beef lasagne. Always made the day ahead so it has time for the flavours to develop, mmmm, and set in the fridge. An easy reheat and always goes a long way.
1kg of premium mince
2 small onions (or 1 large onion) diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
Dash of oil
Thyme (I used 4 fresh sprigs)
Tomato paste (3 tablespoons)
Canned tomatoes (I used Wattie's roasted garlic and onion flavoured)
Worchester sauce (a few glugs)
1 large carrot, grated
Fry onion and garlic in a splash of oil. Add the meat and allow to brown. Drain excess oil/fat then add tomato paste, canned tomatoes and Worchester sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for a wee while then add the grated carrot. Mix around then set aside while you make the bechamel sauce.
Butter (however much looks right to you, I used about 3 tablespoons)
Flour, 2 - 3 tablespoons
Milk, I used about 2 cups of milk (didn't measure, just eye-balled it)
Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon
1 pinch of nutmeg
Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup, grated
Melt butter in saucepan. Add flour. Whisk about well for 1-2 minutes. Add mustard. Whisk. Add milk. Whisk constantly until it thickens. Add nutmeg and seasoning. Take off heat and add parmesan cheese. Set aside to cool.
Assemble the lasange in a large oven proof dish. I like to start with a layer of the meat sauce, then the lasagne sheets, then the bechamel, meat, lasagne sheet etc finishing with a final layer of the bechamel and top with cheese. I used a mix of grated cheddar and parmesan shavings.
Pop into the oven, covered, for 30 - 40 minutes. Finish off with a bit of grilling to get some good colour on top.
The finished product. I like my lasagne extra crispy on top... that might be code for I forgot about it for a minute and it nearly burnt. That's life!
I recommend allowing the lasagne to chill well before slicing it into individual portions, as it has a tendency to collapse on you! Reheat when needed. This is best the next day.