Birthday Dinner – Beef Lasagne

It’s my husbands birthday and this is one of his favourite dinners.

I did however make fresh lasagne sheets instead of using packaged by kneading together 1 cup wholemeal flour, 2 eggs and 1 tablespoon olive oil until smooth and elastic. Let it rest for 30minutes then roll out very thinly and cut into wide strips.

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BEEF LASAGNE

(serves 4)

Bolognese Sauce

Olive oil

2 medium onions – finely diced

5-6 cloves garlic – minced

500g minced beef

440g tin crushed tomato

3-4 tablespoons tomato paste

Salt, pepper & cinnamon to taste

1½ tablespoons dried mixed herbs (basil, oregano, tarragon, etc)

250g large lasagne sheets

Béchamel Sauce

4 tablespoons butter

½ cup plain flour

pinch of  salt

1 litre milk (skim or soy are also suitable)

Topping

250g grated cheese

Optional: Zartar (a Lebanese herb mixture of thyme, sesame and sumac)

Bolognese Preparation

Put 3 tablespoons olive oil in a medium, heavy based saucepan with onion and garlic. Gently cook for about 2 minutes until onion is soft but not browned. Add mince and seasonings and brown, stirring. Pour in crushed tomato and tomato paste. Stir until combined. Add about ½ cup water, continue stirring. Cover tightly & simmer on lowest heat for 1 – 1½ hours, stirring occasionally.

Béchamel Preparation

Melt butter in medium saucepan on medium heat. Add flour and salt and stir until combined (it should be crumbly). Cook stirring for 1 minute. Remove from heat and very slowly add milk (½ a cup at a time), stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Return to heat and stir continuously until thick and bubbling.

Lasagne Assembly

Put thin layer of Bolognese on bottom of a deep square oven tray (about 25 x 25 cm). Cover with a layer of lasagne sheets, then Bolognese, then béchamel. Continue until ingredients are finished or tray is full, finishing with béchamel sauce. Cover with grated cheese and sprinkle zartar over the cheese. Bake in moderate oven (180º) for 30-40 minutes until brown. Leave for about 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

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And for dessert…..

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Prince  Regent cake.

Happy Birthday.

What’s your favourite birthday dinner???

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