Wood Smoked Beef Lasagne
It is amazing how much cooking in a wood fired oven can transform any recipe – something like lasagne takes on a a whole new meaning writes Cornealius Veakins…
800g lean minced beef; 100g finely chopped chestnut mushrooms; 230g finely chopped deseeded red and green peppers; 200g finely chopped red onion; 250ml vegetable stock, 30ml red wine, 2 tsp of fresh or dried parsley, rosemary and thyme; 2 cloves garlic peeled and crushed; 2 bay leaves;; 2 tomatoes – sliced; 800g tinned tomatoes; salt & pepper to taste; 200g mature cheddar cheese, grated; 200g tomato puree, dried pasta sheets – approx 15; 1 tsp sugar
for the béchamel sauce
500ml milk; 1 slice onion, 1/4 inch (5 mm) thick; 50g butter; 40g plain flour; 75g grated cheddar
First make the béchamel. Begin by melting the butter gently – don’t over-heat it or let it brown, as soon as the butter melts, add the flour and, over a medium heat and using a spoon, stir to make a smooth, glossy paste. Add about a ¼ of the milk still stirring mix it all together. Once the mix starts thickening add more milk and repeat until all the milk is used. Add 75g of grated cheese and gently mix together cooking for a further 2 minutes. Add salt & pepper to taste. Set aside.
For the beef. Using a little oil brown off the mince in a large saucepan. Once browned remove from pan and then add a little more oil and all the vegetables and gently sweat down until they are all soft. Add the meat back into the saucepan along with the tomatoes and garlic and all the herbs. Mix together and cook for 5 minutes. Add the remainder of the ingredients and cook for another 30 minutes.
To assemble. Start by placing a layer of dried lasagne sheets on the bottom covering the base. Then spoon over a good layer of the meat followed by a layer of the béchamel sauce followed by lasagne and repeat until you have reached the top. Sprinkle over 75g of grated cheese and place the sliced tomato on the cheese.
So easy to make and easy to cook but the woody flavours in the lasagne are fantastic. Well recommended.