This was my little boy's request for his special birthday tea! (to clear up any confusion, I am from the North West of England, and we call our evening meal at home Tea). There is probably nothing even vaguely Authentically Italian about this, so I apologise in advance if I offend anyone.
Now I have come to type up this recipe, I realise that I didn't measure one single item when I was making it, so I will do my best not to be too vague about how much I used but really, it doesn't have to be all that precise so long as it tastes good in the end :)
I learned to cook from my Grandma, she was the BEST cook ever in my opinion, closely followed by my Aunty. It is my life's ambition for one day my shepherds pie to turn out like theirs. Most of the meals I cook regularly came straight from my Grandma's kitchen.
I'm a little nervous about this, mostly because I am blonde and pregnant, so I will probably miss out some vital ingredient or other. The dish I made here served 3 adults and 2 kids yesterday with side dishes and there is enough leftover for tonight's tea for the 4 of us with side dishes, so it works out really really cheap and saves on cooking the next day too. Okay...........here goes:
Faith No More
Dried Lasagne Sheets (enough to make about 3 layers in your dish if it is deep enough)
1lb extra lean mince beef (which I believe is about 450g)
2 tins chopped tomatoes
teaspoon of very lazy garlic (or if you want to chop it yourself 2 cloves)
big pinch of dried mixed herbs
big squeeze of concentrated tomato puree
1 decent sized onion
drop of olive oil
1 beef stock cube
generous splash of Worcester Sauce (this turns up in loads of stuff with me)
knob of best butter (about half the size of your fist)
about the same amount of plain flour
pint of skimmed milk (my husband reliably informs me this is 568ml on the nose!)
1. Check the instructions on your lasagne sheets, some need to be blanched before you use them, others can go in dry. The ones I use are gluten & wheat free, and have to be blanched.
2. heat up the olive oil in a nice big frying pan and add the mince, while this is browning chop up your onion however suits you and then add that and your garlic and fry them off together. When they are pretty brown, crumble your beef stock cube over the top.
3. Pour over chopped tomoatoes, squeeze in puree, splash in worcester sauce give it all a good mix and bring to the boil, turn down the heat and allow to simmer while you make the white sauce.
4. Put your dollop of butter in a large saucepan and melt it slowly.
5. add your flour gradually to the melted butter, till it forms a roux (like a sticky paste) and then let it cook for a moment.
6. Make sure you have some decent music lined up, once you start pouring the milk in your can't step away from this for even a second
7. Start pouring in your milk slowly, stirring and stirring until it is all in the pan.
8. KEEP STIRRING TILL IT IS BOILING and sing and dance along to your chosen music. I'm not going to lie to you, this bit is really fucking boring (hence the need for music)
9. Let is boil for a minute and then take it off the heat
10. Take the bolognaise sauce off the heat
11. layer it all up in your dish like this: Meat, pasta, white sauce, meat, pasta, white sauce, until you reach the top. Try not to overlap your pasta, else it ends up not cooking properly) when you get to the top, grate some cheese on it (I use mature cheddar, you can use whatever tickles your pickle)
12. Pop it in the oven right away till the cheese is bubbling and golden, or if you are making it earlier in the day and heating it from cold for tea, I usually put it in for about 45 minutes to an hour. Please please make sure it is hot if you are reheating it though, I don't want any irate IM's from anyone who has poisoned themselves or their family.
13. Dish it up with whatever you like, last night I did some potato wedges (these are easy, I will show you another day) and a big bowl of salad and some beetroot. Tonight I am doing it with garlic bread and salad.
Here are some pictures of mine:
Hope you like it