Earth-shatteringly Great Five Meat Lasagne

5 years ago

Five-Meat Lasagne

Lasagne is my comfort dish. Rich, deep meaty sauce layered under a mantle of creamy bechamel and curling pasta strata. I have no shame in sharing my choice of ragu-based edible eiderdown with a cartoon cat.

I started the week with a bit of a late summer cold, so didn’t feel much like cooking. I pulled myself together enough to rustle up a version of white bean chilli (which I’ll post later) on Monday, and on Tuesday convinced my better half to cook up her version of lasagne while I sous-cheffed and took notes. I say it’s her version, but I think the 5 meat rider is really down to me. It might seem excessive – the beef with pork mince, the chicken liver, the bacon and chorizo as chorus line. But the liver gives richness to the beef, the bacon helps add some smokiness along with the chorizo (which also gives a little spice and texture), and the pork just helps them all get along. Even Delia’s own version of lasagne only omits the spanish sausage, and blended with plenty of wine and rosemary our protein quintet creates something wonderful.

Cheese

It’s difficult tying the chef down to a recipe – she prefers things like “add endless pepper” and “mix in enough flour”. If we could afford to, the cheese in the bechamel (of which “you can’t really have enough…perhaps not good if you’re on a diet”), would be solely Italian, subbing the cheddar for more parmesan or pecorino, and maybe even layering in mozzarella, “but that’s just silly”. This is a dish ubiquitous enough to always be a personal thing, but try this recipe and let me know what you think.

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Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1.3kg beef mince
  • 450g pork mince
  • 350g chicken liver, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 white onions
  • 8 rashers bacon
  • 150g chorizo
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 1 head garlic, crushed
  • 600g tinned tomatoes or passata
  • 200g tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 10g rosemary, finely chopped
  • 250g butter
  • 250g flour
  • 1.3L milk
  • 400g strong cheddar, grated
  • 200g Parmesan, grated
  • 500g lasagne pasta sheets (dry)
Instructions
The Ragu:
  1. In a large saucepan, fry the bacon, chorizo & onion in olive oil over a medium heat until soft.
  2. Next increase the heat a little and add the beef and pork mince and cook until browned.
  3. Add livers, wine, garlic, tomato concentrate, passata/tinned tomatoes and rosemary, and reduce the heat to a simmer.
  4. Cook for 40 minutes (or as long as you can, up to around 2 hours).
  5. Add dried oregano and season to taste.

Bechamel sauce (make while the ragu is cooking):
  1. In another medium saucepan, melt the butter over a medium-high heat.
  2. Add 'enough' flour to make a paste (in our case, around 200g-250g), stirring all the time with a wooden spoon.
  3. Once it is an even consistency, begin slowly adding milk, constantly stirring.
  4. Add parmesan (saving a handful for on top), cheddar, a little salt and 'endless black pepper'. I think this measures around 4 tablespoons.
  5. Cook until it thickens into a white sauce - it should be as thick as cold custard. This will take around 20 minutes.

Construction:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180C.
  2. Add layer of lasagna pasta into a large (30cmx40cm) baking pan in whatever tessellated pattern pleases you best.
  3. Ladle over bechamel sauce to well cover pasta.
  4. Ladle over ragu to well cover that.
  5. Pasta, rinse, and repeat until pan is full, and then crown with remaining cheese.
  6. Cook for 30 mins or until well-browned.

 

Comments

  1. JD says:

    I think the added-chorizo trick must run in the family: JJ uses it in her excellent cottage pie

  2. Kerri says:

    There is not a better lasagne that I have tasted!

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