- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion , finely chopped (white, yellow or brown)
- 1 medium carrot , finely diced
- 1 rib / stick of celery , finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 kg / 2 lb beef mince (ground beef) (Note 1)
- 800 g / 28 oz crushed tomato
- 3 tbsp / 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 cup red wine , bold not light (Note 2)
- 3 beef bouillon cubes , crumbled
- 2 bay leaves , dried or fresh
- 1/2 tsp each dried thyme and oregano
- 2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 – 2 tsp sugar (if needed – Note 3)
- 1/2 tsp salt and black pepper
Cheese Sauce (Besciamella):
- 60 g / 4 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup/ 75g flour
- 1 litre / 1 quart / 4 cups milk (I use low fat)
- 220g/ 2 cups shredded cheese (Colby, Gruyere, Cheddar, Monterey Jack, OR 1 cup shredded parmesan) (Note 4)
- Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
- Salt and pepper
- 350 g/ 12 oz fresh lasagna sheets (or 250g/8oz dried) (Note 5)
- 1 1/2 cups / 150g shredded mozzarella cheese
- Finely chopped basil or parsley , for garnish (optional)
- Heat oil in a large heavy based pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, celery and carrots. Cook for 10 minutes until softened and sweet – they should not brown (if they do, turn heat down).
- Add beef, turn heat up and cook the beef, breaking it up as you go.
- Once the beef has all turned brown, add the remaining Ragu ingredients EXCEPT the sugar.
- Stir then adjust the heat so it is bubbling very gently. Place the lid on and cook for 2.5 hours, stirring every now and then, then remove the lid and simmer for 30 minutes.
- The ragu is ready when the meat is really tender and the sauce has thickened and is rich – see video for consistency (Note 6). Adjust salt and pepper to taste, and add sugar if required (Note 3)
- Warm milk up in a saucepan (optional – just makes sauce thicken faster).
- In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium low heat. Add flour and mix constantly for 1 minute.
- Pour about 1 cup of the milk in, mixing as you go to incorporate into the flour mixture. Once mostly lump free, add remaining milk. Use a whisk if needed to make it lump free.
- Turn heat up to medium high. Stir occasionally at first then regularly after a few minutes until sauce thickens – about 5 – 8 minutes. It should coat the back of the wooden spoon.
- Remove from heat, add cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Mix until the cheese is melted. The Sauce should be thick but still easily pourable – the consistency of heavy cream (you need to be able to drizzle it over the Ragu when layering – see video). If it’s too thick, add a splash of water or milk.
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
- Use a 33 x 22 x 7 cm / 13 x 9 x 2.5″ baking dish.
- Smear a bit of Ragu on the base, then cover with lasagna sheets. Tear sheets to fit.
- Spread over 2 1/2 cups of Ragu (enough to cover sheets), then drizzle over 1 cup of Cheese Sauce.
- Top with lasagna sheets (Note 7). Spread with another 2 1/2 cups of Ragu, then 1 cup of Cheese Sauce. Top with lasagna sheets then repeat 1 more time.
- Top with a 4th layer of lasagna sheets, then pour over the remaining Cheese Sauce.
- Sprinkle with Mozzarella, then bake for 25 minutes or until golden and bubbling.
- Stand for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting and serving, garnished with basil or parsley if desired.
Serves: 10 WW SP = 19
Recipe adapted from: recipetineats
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