I'm sure the Italians will be outraged by this, very English, version!  No matter - it tastes delicious

 

First layer - meat sauce
Second layer - white sauce
Third and fourth layers - pasta and meat sauce
Final layer - grated cheese
Ready to serve...

Ingredients

For the meat sauce

These are a little fast and loose as it depends what is in the cupboard.  I bought some frozen beef mince before our quarantine started, but I would usually buy a tray of 'boeuf bourgignon' at the supermarket (it's cheaper than boeuf haché) and haché it myself in the food processor.

800g                 Minced beef

200g                 Lardons (or chopped streaky bacon)

2                       Large onions (or 3 medium) peeled, chopped and sliced

200g                 Button mushrooms

2                       Cloves of garlic

2                       850ml Tins of peeled tomatoes

2 to 3 tbsp        Concentrated tomato paste (to taste)

2tsp                   Dried mixed herbs 

 

For the white sauce

750ml                Milk

1                        Onion, peeled and halved

2                        Bay leaves

75g                    Butter

75g                    Plain flour

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Lasagne sheets

 

Method

For the meat sauce

Empty the tinned tomatoes into a large saucepan.  Blend until as smooth as you prefer.  Add the mixed herbs and some of the concentrated tomato sauce (you may want to add more later depending on taste).

In a large frying pan, fry the mince and lardons in olive oil until browned and then add to the pan of tomatoes.

Fry the onions until translucent and soft, then agg the crushed garlic and fry for a further minute or two (there's nothing worse than overcooked garlic, so beware).  Add to the pan of tomatoes

Add butter to the olive oil and fry your mushrooms before adding to the pan of tomatoes.  

Gently simmer for at least 2 hours (frankly, the longer the better).

Once cooked, leave overnight if possible, as this really elps develope the flavour

 

For the White Sauce

Put the milk into a saucepan, with the halved onion, bayleaves and salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a simmer.

Whilst the milk is warming, melt the butter in a second saucepan.  Gradually add the flour, stirring continuously, to make a thick paste or roux.

Remove the onion and bay leaves from the milk and gradually add it to the roux, stirring continuously, until you have a creamy sauce.

 

Assemble the Lasagne

The dish in the pictures is 30 by 23cms (that's 12 by 9 ins) and makes 8 generous portiions - great for a party, but also good for freezing individual portions.

Add one third of the meat sauce to the dish and then cover with one third of the white sauce.  Place lasagne sheets on top.  Spread half of the remaining meat sauce over the pasta sheets and then spread half of the remaining white sauce on to that.  Add more pasta leaves, the last of the meat sauce topped by the remainder of the white sauce.  Sprinkle grated cheddar cheese over the top.

Mary Berry suggests leaving this to sit for six hours, to allow the pasta to soften.  So - when you're ready to cook it, pre-heat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan) and cook for 45 mins - or until the top is golden brown.

 

  

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