Favourite beef lasagne
( SERVES 4 )
Photo by Tam West
There is nothing new about a beef lasagne, but this is a tasty one and I like hanging out in a warm kitchen, so don’t mind the fact that it’s not a fast cook.
|2 Tbsp||Olive oil|
|1||Onion, finely chopped|
|2 cloves||Crushed garlic|
|500 g||Prime beef mince|
|80 g||Pancetta, cut into pieces|
|½ cup||Dry white wine|
|1 can||Chopped tomatoes, approx 400g|
|1 cup||Chicken stock|
|1 Tbsp||Tomato paste|
|2 large handfuls||Spinach, wilted, alternatively use silverbeet|
|2½ cups||Whole milk|
For the meat sauce
- Place the oil, onion and garlic in a heavy-based saucepan and place over a very low heat. Cook until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes.
- Increase the heat and add the beef mince and pancetta. Break the mince up with a wooden spoon as it begins to brown. Sprinkle over the flour and mix well.
- Pour in the white wine and allow to bubble up (this burns off the alcohol), then add the tomatoes with their juice, chicken stock, tomato paste and herbs. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and bring up to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 50-60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix through the silverbeet or spinach. Taste for seasoning.
For the bechamel sauce
- Place the milk in a heavy-based saucepan with the onion, herbs and peppercorns. Place over the heat and bring up to scalding point. Remove and set aside for about 10 minutes to allow the flavours to mingle. Strain into a jug and discard the flavourings.
- Wash and dry the saucepan. Melt the butter, then stir in the flour. Cook, stirring until you have a golden roux. Gradually stir in the milk and cook until the sauce is thick, smooth and shiny. Season with salt and ground white pepper.
Putting it all together
- Heat the oven to 180C. Oil a medium-sized lasagne dish or similar. Mentally divide the bechamel sauce into four portions and the meat sauce into three. Line dish with one sheet of lasagne, then layer with bechamel sauce, then meat sauce. Continue in this way, finishing with bechamel sauce. Sprinkle with the cheese and drizzle with olive oil.
- Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes until bubbling around the edges and deliciously brown on top.