Batch Lasagna (06/01/22)

This week is my take on lasagne. It’s basic, simple and tasty. Though not a patch on my daughter in laws version!! I like to try to make lasagne the day before, refrigerate and cook the next day. It just tastes better that way. I’m a bit of a last minute joe tho so that rarely works out! I’m starting to batch cook more because it saves money. Buying food in bulk is cheaper and less energy is used. The costing for this batch is roughly £9 and it does a generous 10 portions. I think the fresh, premade supermarket lasagnes come in at just slightly more ££ but the homemade tastes way better and is much more filling somehow. I’m not a cook that faffs with adding extras for flavouring but I do do the extra step with the milk in this case. It’s worth it. I remember years ago, a close friend of mine realised that I could make a homemade sauce for macaroni cheese and she said “well, if you can make it, anyone can” She had been buying the dried cheese sauce mix and was assuming I was doing the same. It’s that thing you get with friends you know well, they manage to be both complimentary and insulting at the same time 😂 She never bought another packet mix tho.

Batch Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 500g minced beef
  • 3 tins chopped tomatoes (I used 2 with basil, 1 just tomatoes)
  • Squeeze of tomato puree
  • 3 finely chopped onions
  • 4 chopped garlic cloves
  • Dried mixed herbs
  • Seasoning
  • Lasagne pasta sheets
  • Sauce
  • 900mls milk
  • 100g butter
  • 100g flour
  • Seasoning
  • (optional bay leaf, 10 whole cloves, half an onion)
  • 200g grated cheese (I used cheddar and parmesan)

Method

  1. Optional: warm the milk in a pan with 1 bay leaf, 10 whole cloves and half an onion roughly chopped. Once almost boiling, remove from heat and leave to one side while preparing the meat sauce.
  2. Gently fry the mince. I used a 5% fat mince, if you are using mince with a higher fat content then once the mince is browned, carefully drain off any excess fat into a container to be disposed of later.
  3. Add the onion and garlic. Continue to fry gently for around 10 mins, stirring occasionally, breaking up any lumps of mince. Add tomatoes and around a tablespoon of tomato puree, a good squeeze! I like tomatoes with herbs added so I use them a lot. Add seasoning to taste.
  4. Simmer gently while preparing the white sauce.
    Sauce
    (If you have warmed the milk with the spices, using a sieve, drain the milk to remove the cloves, leaf and onion.)
  5. Melt the butter, add the flour. Stir until it all comes together and continue to stir and cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Gradually add the milk, whisking all the time. The sauce will eventually thicken and be lovely and smooth. I add a little of the grated cheese at this point but you don’t have to.
    Building the Lasagne
  7. Choose deep baking pans to suit. I used one large one this time but next time, as we won’t have guests, I will use 2 smaller pans so that I can freeze one.
  8. Layer meat sauce, white sauce, lasagne sheets, repeat until your dish is full, finishing on white sauce. Put a layer of grated cheese on top.
  9. Cook on 190 degrees for around 45 minutes if eating same day. If not, add cooking time, defrost overnight in the fridge- cooking time 1 hour 20. If the cheese isn’t brown enough, a quick blast under the grill will do it.
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