Jump to content

The Ultimate Lasagna


Davros sock drawer
 Share

Recommended Posts

NOTE: A few of us who have made this note that you need much more Bechamel than the recipe below. I normally make double.

Here we go then, lasagna time. The recipe, based on the collective wisdom of RLLMUK:

For the Ragu:

450g/1lb minced beef
450g/1lb minced pork
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
4 fat garlic cloves, chopped
2x70g packs (or 140g/5oz) pancetta or streaky bacon, finely chopped
1x400g/14oz tins Italian chopped tomatoes
1xBottle of Passata
1x200g/7oz tube double concentrate tomato purée
1x37.5cl half bottle red wine (or 400ml/14fl oz)
2x15g packs or 30g/1oz fresh basil
1 tbsp dried Oregano
Salt and freshly milled black pepper

For the Bechamel:

15fl oz/425ml milk
2 bay leaves
10 whole black peppercorns
1 slice onion
1½oz/40g butter
¾oz/20g plain flour
Fresh grated nutmeg, to taste
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
Fresh Parmesan



And of course, no cook lasagna sheets. I say of course, but when I took this photo of the ingredients, I forgot to include them:

Ingredients2.jpg

Check out the little grater you get with Schwarz Nutmeg now! Right, first step is to brown the meat, in batches:

BrowningMeat.jpg

Put that to one side, then put the oil into the pan, and sweat the onions, celery, carrot and garlic with the bay leaves, for about 10 minutes, then add the Pancetta. Cook this down for 20 minutes or so:

Pancettaetc.jpg

Then, return the browned meat to the pan, followed by the wine, tomatoes, passata and tomato puree. Add the dried Oregano and the torn Basil, give it an initial seasoning of salt and pepper, and simmer on a low heat for 3 or 4 hours:

Ragu.jpg

Taste the Ragu, and season it again. Make yourself a well-deserved cup of tea:

Tea.jpgContd...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I actually left the Ragu to cool on the hob after 4 hours, then went out boozing until about 10pm. I bunged it in the fridge, and finished off the lasagna this morning.

Next up the Bechamel. In a small pan heat the milk, bay leaves, onion, peppercorns and nutmeg until it is simmering:

Milk.jpg

I didn't use much nutmeg, maybe an 8th of a nut. While the milk is heating up, melt the butter in another pan, then stir in the flour. Strain the milk, and pour it a bit at a time into the flour and butter, whisking as you go. Simmer the resultant sauce for 5 or 10 minutes, to cook out the flour. Season with salt and pepper, and you have Bechamel sauce:

Bechamel.jpg

Finally it's time to construct the lasagna. I started with a layer of Meat Sauce, then the lasagna sheets, then Bechamel. I added no cheese to the Bechamel at this point, but when I got to layer 2 of the sauce I added a small grating of Parmesan. So it wasn't in every layer, just in the middle:

Layering.jpg

You can see there how rich and reduced the Ragu is. Anyway, a generous grating of Parmesan on top, into the pre-heated oven at 170 (fan) or 190 (normal) for 45 minutes, and it's done!

Cooked1.jpg

Cooked2.jpg

If anything it turned out better than I'd hoped. Really pleased with this one, as this was uncharted territory for me (even if I had a good idea about things like the Ragu), and your input was really essential.

BURP!

Edit: A few of us who have made this lovely dish note that you need much more Bechamel than the recipe above. I normally make double.

Edited by Davros sock drawer
Important infos
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another stupid question... where in the supermarket will I find bay leaves?

I had that exact same problem, looked everywhere.

However I finally found some in a jar, near the spices, no idea if they're any good or not.

That looks really nice Davros, I might try making that, but being young and poor, I don't know if I'm going to be able to afford all the ingredients, seeing as most I won't use that often. Also I need to find someone to eat the damned thing, my parents like to eat their own thing normally.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, Waitrose sell fresh Bay Leaves with the other fresh herbs, but in every other supermarket I've only been able to get dried, which are fine still. I'd like to get a Bay Tree for the garden at some point.

The recipe makes a HUGE amount, I've frozen about half of it, had two portions today (oops), and have got some to take in for my lunch tomorrow. Silly amount of food to make really, especially as Mrs Sock Drawer is a veggie.

It probably cost about £20 all in, and feeds 6 very generously. Not that expensive if you can find 5 other people to chip in, and you could probably forego the nutmeg, and use a cheaper cheese than fresh Parmesan. You could also use one type of meat, and a cheaper wine than the Chianti I bought.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm totally making some amazing lasagne when the loan comes in. Minus most of the veg bar some carrot and maybe even leaving out the pork mince. Maybe.

Where'd you get the posh tomato goods from Davros?

Waitrose (again). They're not especially posh though, you'll find similar brands in most supermarkets.

I'd advise against leaving out the onion and garlic. Pretty essential those two. Any combination of Pork, Beef or Lamb would work though.

I suppose if you didn't have some of thge "staples", i.e. the milk, butter, flour, peppercorns etc, it might push it to more like £25. But whilst I would prefer to use organic meat and so on, I think this is one recipe where flavour-wise you could get away with far cheaper ingredients.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those prices look steep - especially for the tinned toms - I guess that's london weighting ? I planted this years herbs + salad over the weekend as well (that's another thread!) - I'm always shocked by how much fresh basil, coriander mint etc costs.

Nah, Super Nashwan thought I said 4 tins, when it's only 1 x 400g tin. There are two in the photo, but I only used one.

To be honest the nutmeg was completely indetectable. Wouldn't miss it.

I need to plant some herbs again. I had amazing success last year with Thyme, Oregano, Marjoram and Mint. Basil just dies on me though.

That Ragu by the way - I think that also removes the need for an Ultimate Spag Bol recipe. Again, I'd like to have included chicken livers, and some people like to add mushrooms, but it's essentially the same thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Slightly off topic here - but does anyone else follow Keith Floyd's addage about if the wine isn't good enough to drink it isn't good enough to cook with ?

He's not the only person I've heard say it, so it must be true. I certainly don't cook with a bottle that isn't good enough to drink the rest after.

I feel like making lasagna this weekend, but one with cheese in it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I havent converted to Islam! I've become allergic to red wine and get nasty side effects if I drink/consume it :wub:

Also Davros, I do a layer of ragu then pasta then bechamel then pasta again before the next ragu. It keeps it seperate until it's on the plate, I also use about 6 times more bechamel than you did!

Oh man, I love lasagna!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I havent converted to Islam! I've become allergic to red wine and get nasty side effects if I drink/consume it :wub:

Also Davros, I do a layer of ragu then pasta then bechamel then pasta again before the next ragu. It keeps it seperate until it's on the plate, I also use about 6 times more bechamel than you did!

Oh man, I love lasagna!

Yes, there wasn't enough Bechamel. Next time I'll double the quantity.

Does doubling up the pasta layers like that not make it a bit dense?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This one had cheese in it - Parmesan! However, I might try a bit of Ricotta in it next time, and use a bit more Bechamel too.

There are very few recipes which require an entire bottle of wine, so I'll always buy something I like to drink.

a bit of parmesan just isnt enough! I'm going to have parmesan, ricotta, and wet mozzarella cut into slices, it doesn't overpower anything else and then you don't have to use as much bechamel.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

a bit of parmesan just isnt enough! I'm going to have parmesan, ricotta, and wet mozzarella cut into slices, it doesn't overpower anything else and then you don't have to use as much bechamel.

I'd rather have more bechamel than a billion cheese turning me into a massive heifer, also surely using all that cheese makes it expensive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd rather have more bechamel than a billion cheese turning me into a massive heifer, also surely using all that cheese makes it expensive.

Neither of those things should be a concern when making a dish "The Ultimate" though.

To be honest, main argument against the cheese is that not once when eating it did I think "Oooh, needs more cheese!". It's just right with the parmesan for me, although as Ricotta is quite mild I'd be prepared to give it a go.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.