A family standard but surprisingly something I didn’t make very often until we moved to Australia. Since we arrived I made it once for mum and dad and they loved it so much it’s now on weekly rotation. I try to “add in” as many veggies to dishes like this as I can. It helps to bulk it out, add flavour, texture, fibre and micronutrients too.
1 teaspoon rapeseed oil
1 onion, diced
2 celery sticks, finely chopped (optional)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
500g beef and pork mince
1 carrot, grated
1 tin chopped tomatoes (400g)
1 x veg stock cube
1 tablespoon tomato sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
125 ml red wine
½ cup red lentils
2 teaspoons butter
50g/ or 1/3 cup plain flour
100g cheddar cheese (grated) plus extra for the top
salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180C
Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and add the onion, celery and garlic. Gently fry until soft and translucent (about 5-7 minutes).
Add the mince and grated carrot. Break the mince up with a wooden spoon and stir to combine with the other ingredients.
Once the mince has browned add the tinned tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce, red wine and red lentils. Dissolve the vegetable stock cube in 150mls of boiling water and add that to the pan too. Season with black pepper.
Bring to the boil then simmer for 30 minutes.
While that is simmering make the cheese sauce.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat.
Once melted add the flour and mix until it forms a paste. It may go into lumps which is fine, these will dissolve when the milk is added.
Whisk in the milk and keep whisking until all the lumps have dissolved and it starts to thicken. You may need to add a little bit more milk if it gets very thick.
Add half the grated cheese and stir until melted.
Place a tiny amount of the mixture mix on the very bottom of the dish, this is so the bottom layer of the lasagne cooks. The mixture shouldn’t even cover the bottom of the dish.
Then place a single layer of lasagne sheets on the bottom, break them with your hand if you need to, it’s always a bit like a jigsaw!
Place a layer of the met mixture over the lasagne sheets until they are fully covered. Cover the mixture with a layer of cheese sauce.
Layer over the lasagne sheets ensuring they are not over lapping.
Then repeat the layering again.
You should finish the lasagne with either a layer of sheets on top or a small layer of the meat mixture, it doesn’t matter which one it will just depend on how thick you have made the layers. Top this with any remaining cheese sauce and then two handfuls of grated cheese.
Bake in the oven for 40 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling.
Serve with a side of greens such as broccoli, sautéed spinach or bok choi.