Delicious beef lasagne – layers of pasta filled with a rich beef bolognese, creamy béchamel sauce and plenty of grated cheese.
A while ago I shared my recipe for roasted vegetable lasagne and so I decided it was about time I got on and shared a meaty version too. Not just any meaty version… no, this is an extra delicious one. I’d love to say that there’s some amazing secret ingredient that makes this all the more delicious. However, I’d say it’s pretty traditional – layers of pasta filled with rich bolognese, creamy béchamel sauce and plenty of cheese.
What I would say was that I’ve made this again and again with little tweaks each time until I had something that led to clean plates and requests for more.
What do you serve with lasagne?
Whilst lasagne tastes pretty brilliant all by itself, I worry it looks a little lonely on the plate. There’s something psychological that tells me the neat square on my plate isn’t as filling (even though it’s a decent size portion). A bowl of pasta doesn’t have the same effect – I guess that’s because I can spread it out, fill the plate and it looks like a “proper” meal. However, you take the lasagne and spread it all over the plate, rather than looking like a decent dinner it just looks a mess.
I know a lot of people like garlic bread. However my choice for lasagne plate filling is salad leaves. It should be noted that the majority of the time, salad leaves are not my dinner of choice. Even if I eat salads I prefer chunkier things like cucumber, tomatoes or avocado. Salad leaves are a bit, well… boring.
Not next to a lasagne.
I think that bolognese and béchamel combine to make an excellent salad dressing. Use the leaves to mop up the leftover sauce on your plate and it tastes delicious. It’s also a good deal better for you than all that garlic bread so I’d say that’s a win win.
What do you think?
- 3 sheets fresh lasagne
- 50 g parmesan
- 100 g cheddar cheese
For the bolognese
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 500 g extra lean steak mince
- 1 onion
- 400 g can chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- a few spring of thyme
- 1 beef stock cube
- 250 ml red wine
- 150 ml water
- Salt and pepper
For the béchamel sauce
- 25 g butter
- 25 g plain flour
- 250 ml milk
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cloves
- Salt and pepper
Make the bolognese
- Finely chop the onion
- Heat half the olive oil (1 tsp) in a large saucepan, add the beef mince and cook until browned but not fully cooked through.
- Remove the beef from the pan and set aside.
- Heat the remaining olive oil in the pan and add the onion. Cook on a low heat for 5 minutes until softened.
- Return the meat to the pan and add the remaining ingredients (400g can chopped tomatoes, 2 tbsp tomato puree, 1 beef stock cube, 250ml red wine, 150 ml water and a few springs of thyme). Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 15 minutes until the sauce has reduced.
- Pre-heat the oven to 220ºC/200ºC fan.
While the bolognese is cooking, make the béchamel sauce
- Pre-heat the oven to 220ºC/200ºC fan (NOTE - this has nothing to do with making béchamel sauce, I just find this is the right moment to turn the oven on to make sure it's hot when the bolognese and béchamel are ready)
- Put the butter (25g) and plain flour (25g) in a small saucepan and cook on a low heat until the butter has melted. Stir together until fully incorporated.
- Once the butter has melted, gradually add the milk (250ml). Stir to ensure that each addition is fully incorporated before adding more.
- Once all of the milk has been added to the pan add the bay leaves (2 leaves) and cloves (4 cloves).
- Stir/whisk continuously until the sauce has thickened to your desired consistency (I like to dip a spoon in and check if the sauce leaves a coating on the back when removed).
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Remove the bay leaves and cloves.
- If the bolognese is't quite ready then decant the béchamel into a bowl or jug and cover with clingfilm, ensuring that the clingfilm is pushed down so it's in full contact with the surface of the sauce. This will stop a skin forming.
Build the lasagne
- Grate the cheese (100g cheddar and 50g parmesan)
- In a medium-sized, deep serving dish (mine is 26cm x 16cm) spoon in a third of the bolognese. Lay a sheet of lasagne on top. Spoon over a third of the béchamel and spread it evenly across the lasagne sheet. Then sprinkle over a third of the grated cheese.
- Repeat 3 times until you have three layers.
- Place into the oven and cook for 20 minutes until the cheese is golden brown.
Any nutritional information provided is the estimated nutritional information per serving. Please refer to my guide to Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen nutritional information if you would like to learn more about how this is calculated.