How to make beef lasagne like an italian
Courtesy of Vincenzo's Plate https://www.vincenzosplate.com/beef-lasagna-recipe/
BEEF LASAGNA RECIPE
Beef lasagna is a well-loved family meal all over the world and my version with a trio of cheeses, béchamel and homemade tomato passata in a word is: SUBLIME. Between each moist layer of fresh egg pasta sheets is a mixture of veal and pork mince, smothered in sweet tomato sauce. There are two key things to make yours as good as mine – you need patience and quality ingredients, no shredded mozzarella or cheap passata here. No need to thank me, just make it, eat it and share it.
500g organic grass fed veal mince
500g organic grass fed pork mince
1 carrot (diced into small cubes)
1 celery stick (diced into small cubes)
½ brown onion (diced into small cubes)
2 bottles Italian passata (homemade or organic if possible)
1 glass red wine
Salt & Pepper
Buffalo Mozzarella OR Fior di latte
Grated pecorino or Parmigiano Reggiano
Fresh egg lasagna pasta sheets
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
For Béchamel Sauce:
25g cups plain flour
Sprinkle of salt
Sprinkle of nutmeg
1 large-medium pot
1 small saucepan
Pyrex dish or similar baking tray
MAKING THE SAUCE:
- Beef lasagna recipe starts with the most important step – making the soffrito! This is the key to a tastier filling so add a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil to a large pot and let it slowly heat.
- Next, add the chopped up carrot, celery and onion and leave to cook for 5-10 minutes or until it has started to soften.
- Add the mincemeat to your pot and break it down using a wooden spoon while it starts to brown. Leave to simmer and stir every so often until it has started to brown.
PLATE TIP: Make sure you break down the meat well so it becomes beautiful and moist once cooked, not dry and chunky!
- Once the mincemeat for your beef lasagna has browned, add the glass of red wine and stir through with a wooden spoon. Leave this to simmer until it evaporates remembering to stir every so often.
PLATE TIP: Don’t skip this step and don’t do it later! This is the perfect time for your wine to add just the right amount of flavour.
Add 1 ½ bottles passata and stir through. Make sure the stove is on a medium-low heat, then cover the pot and let simmer for one hour.
Go back to the pot every now and then and stir the sauce using a wooden spoon.
After one hour, remove the lid and you will notice the tomato has reduced. Add one glass of water at this point and let cook on a low heat. Add more water if you believe it has dried up too much otherwise leave as it is.
The sauce needs another hour to cook with the lid off. Remember to stir it!
PLATE TIP: Don’t worry if the batch of sauce looks too big! You can always put it in containers and leave it in the freezer or fridge for another meal (or a few!)
HOW TO MAKE THE BECHAMEL SAUCE:
Next, the béchamel! Put the small saucepan on your stove at a low heat and add butter.
Leave to melt slowly then add flour and quickly stir using a whisk. Keep doing this until the flour has disappeared.
Slowly add the milk (around 1/4 at first) and don’t stop stirring! Continue adding the milk and stirring – be gentle yet firm. This will avoid it from sticking to the bottom and also from forming lumps.
The sauce should start to become creamy and thick – stop once you have reached your desired consistency.
Turn off the stove and add a sprinkle of salt and nutmeg.
ASSEMBLING THE LASAGNA:
Line the baking tray with extra virgin olive oil or melted butter, using a pastry brush.
Adjust the size of the lasagna sheets according to your dish so they fit nicely just by cutting them to size.
Add a scoop of beef lasagna sauce to the bottom of the try and spread it all over, before laying down the first layer of lasagna sheets.
Next scoop more sauce over the top of the pasta and spread it (using the bottom of a tablespoon or a wooden one) before sprinkling pecorino/parmigiano cheese on top, then add provolone and fresh mozzarella (your desired amount).
PLATE TIP: Add ingredients in moderation and never too much sauce!
Add some béchamel – not too much and spread it slightly.
Add another layer of pasta sheets then repeat until you create the number of layers you wish – I aim for 5-6!
Add plain basil tomato sauce on top, spreading it all over, edge to edge and in each corner too.
Coverv the beef lasagna with foil and place in a pre-heated oven for 20 minutes at 180°C/350°F (fan forced).
Remove from the oven and take the foil off, before adding a generous sprinkle (all over) of pecorino/parmigiano cheese.
Bake in the oven again (no foil) for another 10 minutes then remove and let cool.
HOW TO SERVE:
Beef lasagna should be served warm so leave to set then slice and serve.
It needs absolutely nothing on top – devour as it is!
Thanks to Vincenzo’s Plate for this great recipe.