Recipe – Fatigue Fighting Beef Lasagne

My Fatigue Fighting Beef Lasagne is the perfect pick me up for sleep deprived new parents. Packed with iron, vitamin c and carbohydrates it’s an ideal make ahead freezer stocker, ready for the first couple of weeks after baby’s arrival, or as a baby led weaning meal to be shared as a family.

It is my go to calling card whenever I want a homemade treat that wraps a big warm hug around me!

It’s the perfect comfort food and provides a much needed energy boost to the whole family.

It seems to get even better when it’s been frozen and re-heated which means it’s the perfect make ahead meal to stock your freezer with before baby arrives.

Now Miss EEE is on solid food I found it good to freeze in tiny portions that I can just bung in the oven when I’m running short on time. It was a firm favourite during baby lead weaning in our house.

Always a handy freezer standby for family visitors in those early baby days too!

Recipe

Prep Time: 40 mins

Cook Time: 45 mins to 1 hour depending on the depth of your dish and pasta brand!

Serves: 6 adult portions or 15 baby portions

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 1 Large Onion, chopped
  • 1 Garlic Clove, crushed
  • 500g Minced Beef (I like to use 12% fat)
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Purée
  • 1 tin of Chopped Tomatoes
  • 2 Carrots, grated
  • 12 Dried Lasagne sheets (based on a standard size lasagne dish)
  • 50g Plain Flour
  • 50g Butter
  • 250ml Whole Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 150g Cheddar Cheese plus extra for sprinkling on top to your taste
  • 9 Cherry Tomatoes

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180″c (160″c fan oven).
  2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy based pan on a high heat.
  3. Flash fry the mince beef in two batches. Remove each batch from the pan and set aside once cooked. By cooking the beef first and removing in this way you avoid the sauce becoming too greasy.
  4. Turn the heat down to medium and add the chopped onion and crushed garlic to the pan. Stir frequently until the onion is softened.
  5. Add the tomatoes purée to the onions and garlic and mix together. It should come together into a kind of clump. At this point add the cooked beef mince back in.
  6. Pour over the chopped tomatoes and stir well.
  7. Add the grated carrot and leave to simmer while you make the cheese sauce.
  8. To make the cheese sauce, begin by melting the butter in a heavy based pan.
  9. Sieve the flour then mix it into the pan with the melted butter stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. A paste will form which is known as a ‘Roux’.
  10. Continue to cook for a couple of minutes being careful to keep it moving and not to let it brown at all.
  11. At this point add the milk approximately 30 ml at a time, stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Between each 30ml keep stirring and watch for a change in texture. When the white sauce thickens add the next 30ml of milk.
  12. Once all the milk is added and you have a smooth, thick white sauce remove the pan from the heat and stir through the grated cheese.
  13. Sprinkle in the Nutmeg to give an extra edge to your cheese sauce.
  14. Now you are ready to assemble! Place 4 Lasagne sheets overlapping on the bottom of your pan.
  15. Evenly spread half of your meat sauce mixture over the top of the Lasagne layer.
  16. Next add a third of your cheese sauce.
  17. Repeat steps 14, 15 and 16 so that you now have a double decker Lasagne.
  18. Top with the remaining cheese sauce and cherry tomatoes (halved and seed side up). Make sure there are now gaps otherwise the pasta will burn.
  19. Cover the dish with foil and cook for 45 mins to 1 hour in the centre of your oven. I find cooking time varies slightly depending on the brand of pasta and depth of the dish so do check after 45mins and then at 5 min intervals after this. Also, you may prefer your Lasagne more al dente than your baby would!
  20. Once the Lasagne is cooked through (you can easily insert a knife through), remove foil and sprinkle over remaining cheese. Return to the oven for 2 minutes at 220″c or until golden.

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