Beef Lasagne Recipe

Jun 3, 2021 | Animal welfare

When it comes to family-favourite comfort foods, nothing beats a lasagne. Rich, cheesy béchamel sauce, tender and flavourful mince ragu with fresh herbs among layers of soft pasta – there’s something for everyone. You can also incorporate seasonal vegetables in amongst the ragu, making it a versatile and healthy dish, whatever the season.   Cleaver’s...

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When it comes to family-favourite comfort foods, nothing beats a lasagne. Rich, cheesy béchamel sauce, tender and flavourful mince ragu with fresh herbs among layers of soft pasta – there’s something for everyone. You can also incorporate seasonal vegetables in amongst the ragu, making it a versatile and healthy dish, whatever the season.

 

Cleaver’s makes a beautiful ready to eat certified organic lasagne that’s fantastic when you are short on time.  When you have a little more time there’s so much joy in making it from scratch. It’s also a great activity to include the kids in to teach them basic kitchen skills while spending quality time together.

The secret ingredient to a great lasagne is time, but if you’re short on time, there are some great hacks to help you save time and still produce a great result.

Check out our tips below and two of our favourite recipes to help you create this family classic and make it your own.

  1. Cleaver’s top tips for the best beef lasagne

  2. Classic lasagne recipe

  3. Easy lasagne recipe

 

 

Cleaver’s top tips for the best beef lasagne:

Start with the best meat you can

Beef mince is usually the most popular meat in a lasagne. It’s affordable and easy to cook. Choose an organic mince like Cleaver’s Premium Organic Beef mince. Organic meat is free of preservatives, antibiotics and added hormones, so it’s better for you and the environment, but because the beef is free-range, the meat is more tender and flavourful. 

For added flavour, you can also create a ragu from leftover meat or deliberately slow-cooked with wine and herbs for richness. As a treat, try using a cut of chuck or rump and dice it for a chunkier texture ragu.

Mix your meats

Another way to add flavour to your meat sauce is to combine different types of meat. Traditional Italian recipes tend to use 50% beef and 50% pork mince, as the extra fat gives a thicker, richer sauce. If you like a little smokiness, you can even layer in bacon or pancetta.

If you’re short on time, substitute the mince for sausage meat. Italian sausages are great as the herbs and mince are already combined, but try our Lamb and Rosemary Sausages for a bonus time-saving  twist on the classic.

Time is your friend

For that rich, comforting flavour in your lasagne, the meat sauce (bolognese or ragu) needs time to develop. Many recipes recommend two hours to let the sauce simmer and reduce. This will also give the alcohol time to evaporate if you’ve added red wine, leaving behind just the beautiful flavour for the kids to enjoy. If you don’t have that time, use a slow cooker to help prepare the sauce ahead of time, or a pressure cooker will cut this time down to 20 minutes. If you really don’t have

Herbs – the unsung hero

As important as good-quality meat is the variety of herbs in your sauce. Bay leaves, oregano, rosemary or thyme add character to your lasagne and can be tailored to family’s liking. Another great secret is wild mushrooms – add a little to your bechamel sauce while cooking and it will lend an extra depth to compliment the mince.

Pasta tips

Making your own fresh pasta is a lot of fun and many families swear by the texture and flavour. Fresh pasta is softer in texture, so in a lasagna, there’s a risk that it will overcook too easily. Dried egg pasta is usually preferred as it is more flavourful and easier to control to cook to al dente.

When layering the lasagna, start with a layer of sauce to prevent the lasagne from sticking to the bottom of the pan. We recommend starting with a layer of red sauce, then pasta, then white sauce, then pasta – alternating a layer of pasta with a sauce and repeat until the dish is full. Remember to always finish with a layer of white (or both) sauces and top with cheese for that signature bubbly cheese look.

Serve the lasagne warm, not hot

Fresh lasagne is molten-hot, so be very careful! Let the lasagne cool for 15-20 minutes before serving. This will allow the layers to settle as well so it will hold together better as you cut.

 

Classic Lasagne Recipe

Ingredients 

Lasagne

  1. 800g Cleaver’s Organic Beef Mince
  2. 150g pancetta or bacon, diced
  3. 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  4. 1 carrot, peeled, finely diced
  5. 1 celery stick, finely diced
  6. 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  7. 375g packet of lasagne sheets
  8. 2x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  9. 2 tbs sun-dried tomato paste
  10. 2 tbs tomato paste
  11. 200g mozzarella
  12. 200ml red wine (optional)
  13. 1 tbsp freshly chopped bay leaves, oregano, rosemary and thyme
  14. 2 tbsp olive oil

 

Bechamel cheese sauce

  1. 1 small onion
  2. 6 cloves
  3. 2 bay leaves
  4. 750ml milk
  5. 50g unsalted butter
  6. 1/3 cup plain flour
  7. ves1 1/2 cups grated parmesan

 

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180ºC and lightly grease a 20cm x 30cm baking dish with butter. In a casserole dish, heat the oil over medium heat and cook the onion, carrots, and celery until lightly browned. Add the garlic, pancetta, and herbs and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes, or until the pancetta is crisp.
  • Add the mince, stirring constantly, for 5-6 minutes, or until browned. Add the wine if you’re using it and let it bubble until it has been reduced by half. Stir in the tomatoes and tomato pastes until well combined. Bring the bolognese sauce to a boil, then cover and cook for 1 hour in the oven.
  • Meanwhile, press the cloves and bay leaves into the onion. To make the bechamel, put the milk and onion in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes to infuse. Remove the onion and strain into a jug.
  • Melt the butter in a clean saucepan over a low flame. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes, or until the mixture starts to bubble.
  • Slowly drizzle in the milk, whisking constantly until the sauce is smooth. Remove from heat, season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir in half of the parmesan cheese until thoroughly mixed. Cover the lid to let it cool without forming a skin.
  • Layer the bolognaise sauce, cheese sauce, mozzarella, and lasagne in the baking dish. Finish with a layer of cheese sauce and the remaining parmesan. Preheat the oven to 200ºC and bake for 40 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbling.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15-20 minutes before serving.

 

Easy Lasagne Recipe

Ingredients

  1. 500g Cleaver’s Organic Beef Mince
  2. 375g packet of lasagne sheets
  3. 1 brown onion, diced
  4. 1 can of crushed tomatoes
  5. 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  6. 1 packet of whole milk ricotta
  7. 3 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
  8. 1 large egg, beaten
  9. 1 tbs Italian herbs
  10. 1 tbsp olive oil
  11. Salt and pepper to taste

 

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 170ºC and  lightly grease a 20cm x 30cm baking dish. Cook the lasagne noodles according to package directions in a big pot of boiling salted water.
  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown the onion and beef, about 3-5 minutes, crumbling the mince as it cooks and season with salt and pepper. Remove the excess fat and toss in the tomatoes and Italian seasoning. Mix well.
  • Combine ricotta, 1/2 cup mozzarella, and egg in a medium mixing bowl; set aside.
  • Layer as follows: add 1 cup of the bolognese, followed by  the lasagne noodles, 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese mixture and 1 cup of mozzarella on top. Repeat, and finish with a layer of Parmesan cheese on top.
  • Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until bubbling, in the oven. Then broil for another 2-3 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15-20 minutes before serving.

New! Organic Beef Lasanga

Finally an organic meal made with real ingredients. Available now at selected Woolworths, Coles and independent supermarkets nationally.