For the Bolognese
450g Minced Beef
2 Onions, diced
2 Cloves of Garlic, crushed
1 Bay Leaf
1 tbsp Tomato Purée
125ml Red Wine
400g Chopped Tomatoes
800g Beef Stock
1 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Oregano
For the Cheese Sauce
500ml Chicken Stock
75g Chedder Cheese, Grated. Plus some for the top
Heat a large frying pan with deep sides or a sauce pan and add some oil and the Minced Beef, cook until browned al over and then tip into a bowl.
Turn down the heat and add the Onion, Garlic and Bay to the pan and sweat until the Onion goes translucent. Add the meat back into the pan and season with salt and pepper.
Push all of this to one side of the pan and put the Tomato Purée in the pan to toast. This stops it being so bitter, toast this for about a minute and then mix it through your mix.
Add the Wine and let simmer until reduced by half. Then add Chopped Tomatoes and Stock (I measure the stock by filling up the Tomato can twice), Sugar and Oregano. Bring to the boil and then reduce to simmer. This should simmer for at least an hour, you may need to add more liquid (water or stock) during cooking. A mistake people often make when cooking Minced Beef is that they only cook it for 20 minutes or so, Beef is tough and needs a longer cook to soften it.
When this is cooked make the sauce. Melt the Butter in a pan and then add the Flour. Whisk this over a low heat for a minute or 2 until it starts to turn golden. Add the stock in stages whisking all the time, this is so you do not get lumps. When all of the Stock is added whisk it over a low heat until at a thickness that will coat a spoon. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cheese.
to assemble the Lasagne spread a third of your Bolognese in the bottom of the dish, top with Lasagne Sheets. Don't overlay the sheets, they wont cook properly if you do. Break or cut them as you need to. Top this with another third of your mix, add a layer of pasta. Finally spoon in your remaining Bolognese, top with pasta and pour over your Cheese Sauce.
At this stage you can let it cool and keep it in the fridge for a day or 2 or freeze it, get it out the day before you want to cook it and defrost it in the fridge.
When you are ready to cook it top generously with Grated Cheese and bake at 200c for 20 minutes until the top is golden and you can push a knife through it easily.
Pairs Well With
This classic dish is a great family dinner, it can be prepared ahead and even frozen until you need it. I make this using Stock instead of Milk for the Cheese Sauce, I find it makes it a bit lighter. If you want to use Milk you can substitute it.