Yaras Game Lasagna / Lasagne
photo by Patrick W.
- Ready In:
- 2hrs 30mins
For the Ragu
- 600 g mixed game, cleaned, trimmed of all fat and sinew and finely diced (e.g. venison, hare, pigeon, wild duck)
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 1 celery rib, finely chopped
- 150 g filed mushrooms, finely sliced (optional)
- 2 red dried bird's eye chiles, broken in half (or to taste)
- 125 ml red wine
- 2 (400 g) cans peeled plum tomatoes
- 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
- 1 teaspoon sugar
For the Bechamel
- 70 g butter
- 70 g white flour
- 700 ml milk
- 1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg, grated
For the pasta
- 420 g flour
- 1 pinch salt
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon water
- semolina flour, for dusting
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 100 g semi-stagionato pecorino cheese or 100 g crumbly swaledale cheese, grated
- fresh ground black pepper
- METHOD Place the meat in a non-metallic bowl with 1 tbsp olive oil, a clove of garlic, the thyme and balsamic vinegar and mix well. Cover and leave in the fridge to marinate overnight.
- Put 4 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan with the onion, carrots, celery, mushrooms (if using), chilli and remaining garlic. Cover and cook over a low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all the contents have softened. Once the vegetables start to stick to the bottom of the pan, set aside.
- Remove the garlic and thyme from the marinated meat and discard. In another pan, heat the remaining oil over a high heat, add the meat and cook, covered for 30-60 seconds. At this stage, the game usually releases water – as soon as this happens, drain the water and juices away. This will take the “gamey” edge off a little. You may need to repeat this procedure a few times until the meat is very dry. Season to taste and keep stirring.
- Once the meat starts to stick to the pan, add the cooked vegetables and wine and stir again. Now add the tomatoes and crumble in the stock cubes, lower the heat and stir well until the cubes have dissolved. Cover and leave to simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. At the end of the process, the sauce should be neither too stiff nor too runny. Add water or cook for slightly longer, uncovered, to achieve the right consistency.
- Meanwhile make the pasta. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the eggs. Slowly mix the eggs into the flour using your fingertips, until all the flour has been incorporated. Add a little water if the mixture is too hard, or a little semolina flour if too soft. On a work surface lightly dusted with semolina flour (if necessary), knead the dough for a few minutes until smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film and leave it to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- To make the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat. Take off the heat and stir in the flour a little at a time until you have a thick paste. Gradually add the milk, stirring to incorporate each addition before adding the next. Add a pinch of salt and the nutmeg, and then place over a medium heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Lower the heat and stir for 5 minutes then set aside to cool, stirring occasionally.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4.
- Dust a work surface with semolina flour and roll out the pasta dough into a sheet about 1mm thick. Using a pastry cutter or one of your ramekins, stamp out 24 circles of pasta.
- Spoon a layer of the game sauce, about 1cm deep, into each ramekin. Place a disc of pasta over the sauce in each ramekin. Spoon another layer of game sauce on top, then cover with béchamel. Repeat these layers (pasta, meat sauce, béchamel) at least twice more, finishing with plenty of béchamel.
- Sprinkle the pecorino on top of the dishes and place in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the cheese has browned. Leave to rest for a few minutes before serving… Enjoy!
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