Homemade beef mince lasagna some spell it as ‘lasagne’ as well it’s arguably the best comfort food of all times. why??? just imagine a slow-cooked meat ragu, topped with a cheese white sauce layered with pasta sheets!!! well, that’s why it is called the ultimate comfort food.
Traditional Italian lasagna
This is a traditional Italian lasagna that has 3 components, the meat sauce, the white sauce and the lasagna sheets. NOOOOOO RICOTTA!!!! that’s the Italian American version. I am actually not sure how the Americans came up with adding ricotta into it but well, but the traditional Italian lasagna will not have ricotta.
What are the basic ingredients for lasagna?
Only 4 components
– Slow-cooked meat sauce
– White cheese sauce also is known as a bechamel
– Lasagna sheets
– Mozerella cheese
Homemade meat lasagna
Ok if you ask me as an ex-chef every dish is easy for me, but when it comes to lasagna, yes I understand it is a process, but you know what the good part is? it can be made in advance and even frozen to eat later. if you have not had homemade lasagna, seriously you don’t know what you are missing. I have tried a few store-bought lasagnas and I don’t even know why they exist on shelves. you need to make this homemade lasagna to really know what you are missing!!!
I have to let you guys in on a little secret here. when I first started dating my husband, hahaha actually I wouldn’t call it dating, because he played it very hard to get!!!! I know I know, yes I was the desperate girl going behind my hubby!!! to impress him, once I was going overseas with my parents to the USA for a holiday and my now husband loved my food so much that he only came to visit me if I said I had food at home hahhahaha well I guess at this point I should have realised.
He is just not into me but my food’ hahaha well anyway, I made him 5 lasagnas and gave him so he can reheat and eat it remembering me!!!! oh my god now that I am reflecting on this memory, seriously this sounded very stupid and childish!!! hmmmmmm things you do for love. well, the good news is, he is head over heels for me now, and we have been happily married for more than 2 years well never give up!!! the way to his heart was definitely through his stomach so don’t give up girls!!!
Great entertaining dish
I make this dish quite often for entertaining guests because it can be made ahead and all I have to do is bake it in the oven for 40 minutes just before serving and it can be made in a large tray for sharing purpose. it also gives a sense of warmth and comfort.
What is the secret to good meat lasagna?
Making the beef ragu and white sauce perfectly is the key to the best lasagna. after all the cheese is store brought and the lasagna sheet is store-bought.
Why lasagna is runny or watery
The consistency of the meat sauce and white sauce is very important. I love when my lasagna is scoop-able, which means it is still saucy, you can also cut neat slices but then that is a bit dry and not as good as the scoop-able texture. so to nail the texture perfectly actually depends on the consistency of the beef sauce and the white sauce.
What to eat with beef lasagna
lasagna can be enjoyed with a nice garden leaf salad, some crusty bread or why not try my cracked cheese bread
Now you can use fresh lasagna sheets that are sold in speciality grocery stores or, you can make your own lasagna sheets if you wish to. If not you can use store-bought dried lasagna sheets as I have used in this recipe. Now it’s very crucial if you use dried lasagna sheets that you soak it in hot boiling water because that is going to help the lasagna sheets to cook easily and not be undercooked inside.
Why is my lasagna sheets still hard after baking
The science of the baking of lasagna is to actually just set all ingredients and gratinate the top. when you add dried lasagna sheets that have not been soaked in hot water, the lasagna sheets may come out uncooked, so definitely soak them in hot boiling water for 2 minutes.
secondly, when the beef ragu and the white sauce is not liquid enough when assembling the lasagna, it may come out uncooked. it’s the same theory as you boil pasta in water. the dried lasagna sheets need moisture to cook, so having that moisture in the two sauces helps it cook.
you can also boil the lasagna sheets prior to assembly, I dot really recommend that, as it is totally sufficient just soaking in hot water and baking in the oven with enough moisture from the sauces.
How to assemble lasagna
Everyone layers it differently, I like to layer my lasagna as below, because it actually helps the lasagna to cook as well as gratinate the top better. First, the lasagna sheet needs to be on the bottom, then the meat sauce, then the white sauce. Repeat layer 1,2 and 3 for about 5 times (this will depend on the height of your tray). Finally, finish off with layer 3 (white sauce) then add the layer of cheese. See below picture as a guide.
You can also check my dinner recipes here.
Watch how to make beef mince lasagna recipe
Step by Step recipe how to make beef mince lasagna recipe
Beef Mince Lasagna Recipe
- 1/2 Brown onion Chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic Chopped
- 500 g Beef mince
- 2 tsp Tomato paste
- 800 g Crushed tomato puree
- 200 g Water Tap
- 250 g Dried Lasagne sheets
- 30 g Butter
- 30 g Flour
- 500 g Milk
- 2 Bay leaves Optional
- pinch Nutmeg powder
- 100 g Mozerella Shredded
- Heat a heavy bottom pan on medium heat with 2 tbsp of oil
- Add onion and garlic and saute until brown and cooked
- Add the mincemeat in, break up all the lumps so that the mincemeat is broken down. cook well.
- Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute, then add the crushed tomato, water, salt, pepper, bay leaves, close the lid and let it cook on medium heat for 25 mins
- Once cooked and meat ragu is soft, take it off the fire and leave aside
- Place a pan on medium heat, place the butter and let it melt. do not let the butter turn brown or burnt
- Once the butter is melted, add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Make sure the flour and butter mixture remains white and not turn brown.This mixture of flour and butter is called a white roux
- Add the milk little by little, you will notice the milk thickening, add all milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg, bay leaf and let it cook for approximately 2-4 minutes until it is a thick creamy sauce. make sure the texture of the sauce is semi liquid
- Take off the fire, remove bay leaf and leave aside
- Preheat oven to 180C
- In a deep tray place all the lasagna sheets and pour boiling water. leave to soak for atleast 3-5 mins
- Use 19cmx 23cm oven proof tray and start the layering process by first adding a layer of the pasta sheet, topped with a layer of mincemeat sauce, then topped with a layer of bechamel sauce (White sauce). Repeat this process, until it reaches the top of the pan ( usually 5 layers of lasagna sheets will be the ideal hight)you must finish the layering with bechamel sauce, then add the shredded mozzarella on the top to cover the lasagna
- Bake at 180 C in the oven for 30 mins, then increase the temperature to 200c and bake for further 5 mins, to get the cheese gratinated and golden brown.