Beef Lasagna / Lasagne is a real favourite in our house, but whilst my boys love this meat version, my daughter always insists on having the veggie version! This recipe uses the exact same sauce from my Spaghetti Bolognaise recipe, as I like to keep things simple. If you made a batch, this is a great way to add variety and create a quick meal. If you don't have any sauce made, don't worry, this recipe tells you how to make this Beef Lasagna from scratch.
The best sized lasagna dish to use is approx. 25cm x 17cm. It's big enough for 4 people and means you don’t have to break up any lasagne sheets. You can use other sized dishes, but breaking up lasagna pieces takes longer. Try not to have them overlap as they won't cook as well.
Try to buy locally farmed beef if possible. Local beef from grass fed cattle has a much lower carbon footprint than industrially farmed imported beef. Knowing where your meat comes from is important. You can find more information about this on my Eating Sustainably page. Olive oil, black pepper and even the red wine are all now available as Fairtrade products, which makes a huge difference to some of the world's poorest famers. As always, try to buy the vegetables loose to minimise packaging and from local producers. Keeping food miles low not only helps support the local economy, but also lowers the carbon footprint.
The Beef Lasagna can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days. It can be frozen for 3-4 months. Remember, the meat sauce should only be re-heated once, so if you made the sauce in advance and then cooked the lasagna, you shouldn't re-heat it.
- 2 tbsp olive oil organic, fairtrade
- 1 onion organic, peeled and chopped
- 1 carrot organic, scrubbed and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves organic, peeled and crushed
- 500 g lean minced beef organic
- 400 g tinned chopped tomatoes organic
- 200 g passata organic
- 1 tsp italian seasoning organic
- 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce organic
- 250 ml red wine organic, fairtrade or red cooking wine
- 1 dash salt
- 1 dash black pepper organic, fairtrade, freshly ground
- 12 lasagna sheets organic, depending on the size of your dish
- 100 g green salad to serve
- 40 g butter organic
- 40 g plain flour organic
- 300 ml milk organic
- 300 ml vegetable stock organic
- 1/2 tsp English mustard organic
- 130 g mature cheddar cheese organic, grated
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Fry the onion and carrot for around 5 minutes, until they start to soften. Add the garlic and fry for 2 more minutes. Remove from the pan and put to one side.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the pan and add the mince. Cook for 3-4 minutes until browned. Break it down with a wooden spoon and keep stirring so there are no lumps. If you are cooking a lot of mince, you may need to do this in batches, otherwise you are stewing it not frying it.
- Add the tinned tomatoes, passata, herbs, worcestershire sauce and red wine if using and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer for a minimum of 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent it sticking. Put a lid on the pan if you are leaving it to simmer for longer.
To make the cheese sauce
- Put the butter, flour, milk, stock and mustard in a pan over a medium to high heat and keep stirring until the sauce starts to come to the boil and thicken. Flaten out any lumps against the side of the pan with the back of the spoon. Remove from the heat, add 85g of cheese, season with pepper and stir until the cheese has melted.
To assemble the lasagna
- Spoon around 1/3 of the meat sauce into the bottom of the dish, lay lasagna sheets on top in a single layer, not overlapping, cover with some of the cheese sauce and repeat until all the meat sauce is used up. Finish off with a layer of lasagna sheets, the cheese sauce and sprinkle the remainder of the cheese over the top. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes.
- Serve the lasagna with a green salad