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Easy recipe: Cheesy beef lasagna

Food
 Beef mince lasagna (Photo: iStock)

To make delicious cheesy beef mince lasagna, you will need;

500g beef mince 

4 onions, finely chopped

1 teaspoon ginger paste

1 teaspoon garlic paste

8 fresh tomatoes, blended until smooth

4 tablespoon tomato paste/puree

2 tablespoon tomato sauce/ketchup

1 green or red capsicum, chopped

2-3 green chillies chopped 

Salt to taste

Black pepper to taste

Chopped coriander

Oregano (optional)

4 tablespoon oil

250g mixed boiled veggies like beans, peas, carrots, sweet corn 

12 lasagna sheets (approximately)

2-3 cups grated mozzarella and cheddar cheese

For the white sauce:-

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

4 cups milk

Salt to taste

White pepper powder to taste (you can also use black pepper)

 WHAT TO DO

Heat the oil then add the onions and fry until soft and translucent. Add the ginger and garlic pastes; when they release their aroma, add the mince and sprinkle some black pepper over it. 

Fry whilst breaking the bits of mince so that there are no lumps until the mince changes colour to brown. Now add the capsicum, green chillies and veggies, and sprinkle the spices of your choice (I normally add a pinch of turmeric and a teaspoon of cumin powder). Fry them with the mince for a few minutes, then add the tomato paste and blended tomatoes.

Cook on low heat while covered until the sauce thickens, and the mince is ready. Add the ketchup, and adjust salt and chilli. Sprinkle a bit of garam masala, squeeze the lemon juice in and sprinkle some chopped coriander, then turn off the heat. The sauce should not be dry, it should be ‘saucy’.

TO PREPARE THE WHITE SAUCE

Melt butter in a saucepan, stir in plain flour, then cook on low heat for five minutes. Cooking the flour in the butter helps reduce the ‘raw’ smell of the flour so don’t skip this step!

Slowly whisk in milk, if you pour the milk in too quickly it will form lumps; so add gradually whilst whisking briskly to get rid of any lumps and form a smooth roux/mixture. Bring to a boil, whilst stirring. Turn down heat, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken and coats the back of a wooden spoon.

Prepare your lasagna sheets, about 12 should be enough. Check if they need to be boiled first, or if they can be used as is. It is normally indicated on the box. If they need to be boiled, follow the instructions on the pack and boil them for the time specified. Keep some shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese ready, my favorite combination!

 TO ASSEMBLE THE DISH

Grease a baking dish with butter, then add a bit of white sauce (to prevent your lasagna from sticking to the dish), followed by some lasagna sheets. Try to avoid overlapping, you can break the lasagna sheets to fit your dish.

Now pour some meat sauce, followed by white sauce and some cheese. Again add a layer of lasagna sheets, again the meat sauce and once more cover with the white sauce. You can add a third layer if your dish is deep enough. Make sure the final layer is covered with white sauce. You can sprinkle some cheese on top, and some chopped coriander and oregano if you like.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees for about 40 minutes. If the top is browning too quickly, then cover it with some foil and continue baking. Once ready, remove and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes before cutting into the lasagna. This will ensure that your cuts are neat and tidy.

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