Blonde lasagne

The proper way to cook this crowd pleasing classic dish. Enjoy.

Pork, beef and white wine lasagne. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Pork, beef and white wine lasagne. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Thu, Sep 5, 2013, 11:16

   
  • Serves: 6
  • Cooking Time: 40 mins
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Italian

Ingredients

  • Serves 6-8
  • Good glug olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 head celery, finely sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • Some chopped herbs: thyme, oregano
  • 300g minced pork
  • 300g minced beef
  • 1/2 bottle white wine
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • Squeeze honey
  • A few splashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 6-8 lasagne sheets
  • FOR THE BÉCHAMEL SAUCE:
  • 75g butter
  • 75g flour
  • 600ml milk
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 100g Parmesan, grated
  • Grate of nutmeg

Method

In a large, heavy-based saucepan that has a lid, heat up the olive oil and sweat the onions, carrots and celery, with the lid on so that you get a soft and vibrant mix as opposed to something that starts burning.

Season well and then add the garlic, herbs, pork and beef, prodding the clumps of meat to separate them. Mix well. Once you feel you’ve broken up the party and both veg and meat are well distributed, add the wine and turn the heat up and allow some liquid to evaporate at this stage. You have an excess of liquid, so you want to get rid of some.

Add the coriander, honey, Worcestershire sauce and tinned tomatoes. Stir well. Put the lid on, turn the heat down and cook gently for an hour, giving it an occasional stir to make sure nothing is burning at the bottom.

After an hour, remove the lid and cook until the excess liquid boils off and you have a nice looking meat sauce. Taste and season well.

While this is going on, make your béchamel sauce. Melt the butter, add the flour and cook out for at least a minute using a wooden spoon to agitate and stir around the putty in the pan. Add the milk gradually – at this stage I usually change over to a whisk – and whisk in the milk.

Once it’s all in there, cook it out (til it starts bubbling gently), then add the mustard and season well. Taste it and once you are happy with the seasoning, turn off the heat. Add the Parmesan and some nutmeg and set aside until it’s ready to assemble.

Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees/gas 4. Spoon the meat mixture into a suitable sized gratin dish and then top with the six to eight sheets of lasagne. Pour the béchamel on top.

You can bake this straight away for about 40 minutes (you may have to cover the béchamel loosely with foil as the top can start to brown a little too much) and remove it at the end. Or you can let this cool completely and refrigerate it overnight and cook from the fridge, although you will need to let it come to room temperature or cook for longer and at a slightly lower temperature – say 170 degrees/gas 3 – for an hour.

Allow it to settle before slicing and serving.

This is absolutely delicious with sharp green salad, good bread and a nice glass of white or red wine. Both work really well. This also re-heated really well the next day


dkemp@irishtimes.com

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