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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Kitchen Information Reference Forum / Lasagne - step by step (lots of pics)
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    Lasagne - step by step (lots of pics)

    Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:56 am Groupie
    I can't add this as a recipe because the system isn't flexible enough for all the different bits...

    serving 10+ people

    first off the meat sauce..ragu

    in a large pan (I use a big stockpot)
    give a good 1cm of olive oil across the bottom and start to cook the onion
    6 white onions - finely diced

    cook well until really browned and soft

    add 6-10 carrots again finely diced (you want it about as small as the pieces of mince meat if possible)

    then add 6-10 sticks of celery - finely diced

    and then 3 large sweet red peppers (not the hot chilli peppers)

    once you have cooked it together taking away the raw edge, add 2kg of minced beef (lean)
    cooking in until coloured (we don't want hard fried brown bits as you want the mince soft)

    add the spices - 1 tbsp dried oregano, 1 really heaped tbsp of garlic purée, 2 tsp smoked paprika and 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper - mix in well

    Then I've added finely chopped spinach.. a big handful (you can see this is from frozen) mix in well (and allow to thaw out if using frozen, before moving on)

    add a good drinkable red wine (not too sweet...this was a Dry Cypriot one)

    and I added slightly more than half a bottle !

    then add 3 tins of chopped tomatoes (about 400g tins)

    and a jar of good quality passata (this is extra special rustic with a little texture to it)

    then use a little hot water to clean the tins and jar out and add that. Leave to cook on a good simmer for as long as you can (hours rather than minutes... stir occasionally... and stir right to the bottom...if it gets too dry add a touch more water..but its note likely to need it)

    now as this point I did some cherry tomatoes to go in the layers..
    cut in half and placed in a large tray

    sprinkled with a little salt and pepper
    and place in a low oven to slowly cook...a good 30-60 minutes.. to soften and shrink them a little...not completely dry up..

    by now you should have been stiring the sauce... you will notice the oil rises as its cooking.. this lets you know its well on its way

    keep stirring it back in

    and the tomatoes can come out of the oven and be put to one side..

    now on to the cheese sauce...

    another 1cm of oil in another pan... 1 white onion finely diced

    cook until soft but try not to brown (its a white sauce)

    add some flour (I use strong white bread flour.. never seems to get lumps)

    add some English mustard powder (or mustard condiment)

    add a little pepper

    add a tsp of dried oregano

    mix in well

    if its still sloppy you need more flour

    it should dry up to almost a dough like mix

    add a little milk and stir well (keep stirring or it will stick and burn)

    it will dry in.. add more milk

    and again... you find the further along you go, the less it dries out and the more milk you can add in one go


    now starting to slacken off... becoming more paste/sauce

    keep going.. (this only takes a few minutes to get to this point.. don't panic with the amount of photos..)

    and now we can really add the milk in

    at this point its very watery...but this will thicken as it comes up to temperature (near boiling)

    you can now add a good hard cheese like Parmesan, mix in well and stir until the sauce thickens.. at that point turn the heat right down and just give an occasional stir... it will go thick... if its too thick, a little hot water will mix in well !

    now back to layering ingredients... get some mushrooms finely sliced

    sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and fry until browning...

    finely... you can start to build the layers... in a large deep roasting tray / lasagne dish (remember this is feeding 10+ so I use 2 big trays that just fit in the oven)

    put a thin layer of meat into the bottom of the tray

    scatter some of the oven roasted cherry tomatoes

    then cover with dried lasagne sheet (trying not to leave gaps)

    then with dried pasta you need to add a little hot water.. make sure it all gets a splash

    then add another meat later and this time I've added the fried mushrooms (this is great because you can leave a space if someone doesn't like mushrooms or the cherry tomatoes etc)

    and again cover with pasta sheet..

    keep building up the layers (sometimes I add fresh baby spinach and even a layer of grated cheese etc..) until you are about 2cm from the top of the dish (I get 3 meat layers)

    splash with water on each pasta layer

    and on the top layer you pour a thin layer of the cheese sauce

    then cover with grated cheese (a good melting cheese like mozzarella or chedder) (a good tip is leave a tiny edge away form the dish itself so you don't end up with burnt cheese on it !)

    then put in the oven (medium heat) for a good 30-60 minutes.. my oven has its heating element at the top so it browns very well.. you might have to put yours under the grill to get a nice golden brown after its cooked

    and then SERVE !

    as you can see we had potato wedges and garlic bread with it

    take plenty of shots because its hard to tell on the camera which looks best

    slight changes in angle can make a massive difference to the look

    and you can't always tell if they are blurred

    and big fat close ups

    look good but might not show the whole dish properly..

    there you go...

    comments.. edits.. personal trainer... gastric band.. lipo suction all welcome... lo
    Mon Apr 25, 2011 5:38 am
    Forum Host
    Steve, this is great, but you know what?

    I think this is the wrong forum for such a detailed, illustrated demo. It belongs in the Kitchen Reference Forum:

    You might want to contact Karen of Colorado (forum host) and draw her attention to this post. She might really rather want it in her Demo Sticky in that forum.

    To be honest, we love your food photos, you are really helpful and informative here, and you have a wonderful eye for a photograph.

    But this forum, as you know, is better suited to photos of finished dishes. (Well, maybe 1 or 2 prep steps, but not a full demo plus the recipe).

    I hear what you say -- that the recipe format on this site cannot handle this. Maybe it can, with some editing?
    Mon Apr 25, 2011 5:47 am Groupie
    is that me on the naughty step again?.. first for posting extra pictures in a post and now for too many.. icon_lol.gif

    like I said.. its only a guide.. and didn't bother with exact measurements which the recipe tool wants...

    I suppose it could be better suited in a step by step guide.. wasn't there mention of a forum for step by step guides in another post ?

    Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:53 am
    Forum Host
    Steve, it's the link I posted above: the Kitchen Reference Forum link.

    You might like to have a look at the demos posted there as a Sticky. Karen from Colorado is one of the forum hosts.

    I mean this genuinely, and you're not on the "naughty step"!! icon_wink.gif It's just that this IS a demo, and rather too long for this forum.

    Otherwise, keep treating us to your excellent food shots of finished dishes! icon_biggrin.gif
    Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:42 pm
    Forum Host
    Oh YUM!!!! Steve, this lasagna looks absolutely heavenly! Mmm, the sauce is so thick and creamy, the tomatoes look so juicy and ripe and I love the look of the finished dish with the browned cheese on top! yummy.gif yummy.gif yummy.gif yummy.gif

    Great series of shots, so informative and also great to look at! Colours, clarity and angles are spot on in every pic! Love it, thanks for sharing! icon_biggrin.gif

    Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:50 pm Groupie
    you're welcome !... hope its helpful icon_smile.gif

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