Sunday, April 5, 2009

Lasagna-20 portions!

I made Lasagna and Macaroni Cheese tonight. Not all the kids like lasagna so I thought they could have a choice. I make my own sauce and cook the beef for an hour and a half so that it is very tender. This batch makes approx. 18-20 portions and works out approx. 50 pence per portion. The recipe is as follows:
Lasagna- I always make large portions as it freezes beautifully and is very cost effective in bulk.
2 packets mince, large (730g each today)
Pasta sheets x 2 packets
Olive oil
2 onions
4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons tomato puree
3 cartons (500g) passata
200ml stock or water
1 tbs sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Butter 100g
Milk 3/4 pint
2 large tablespoons flour

Tomato Sauce
Puree onions and garlic in a processor until mushy. Heat a good splash of olive oil in a non-stick pan and pour in onion mixture. Stir, bring to the boil, stir again and then simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. These should not go brown. Once cooked, add puree and passata. Stir then bring to the boil. Let it bubble away for a few minutes then turn down heat to a good simmer. Add 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon salt plus a really good grinding of black pepper. Stir.

Sprinkle in a good pinch of mixed herbs (dried) and a dash of red wine. Simmer with lid on for approx. 10 minutes or until mince is ready.

Minced Beef
To prepare mince, add a little olive oil to another pan and over a medium to high heat, fry mince until completely brown, stirring continuously. (I had to do this in two batches). Drain and add to sauce. Bring to a boil, then put lid back on and simmer on a low heat for 1.5 hours. Stir every 15 minutes or so. Once ready, add a good grating of nutmeg.

Bechamel Sauce
Melt butter in a pan over a medium heat. Add flour and stir constantly until a roux is formed (looks like a soft paste). Add a dash of milk and incorporate into roux. It may look a little curdled, don't worry, keep stirring! Keep adding milk, a little at a time, quickly stirring all the time. Once the desired thickness has been achieved. let it simmer for a minute, then add a sprinkle of white pepper and a good grating of nutmeg.

Prepare Lasagna:
Layer meat sauce on bottom of lasagna tin/tray. Layer pasta sheets on top and then pour over some bechamel sauce. Repeat and finish with bechamel sauce and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan. Place lasagna in oven at 180 degrees C and cook for 30-35 minutes.

Once cooled, slice into portions and place into foil trays. After eating this for dinner and having seconds, we had 14 portions left.

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