A crowd pleasing beef and sausage ragu lasagna

The other week, before I quite realized I had agreed to make, and bring food for a fund raising event. Afterwards I wasn’t sure how I had agreed to do it but I haven’t been to a fund raising event like this since my days in the deep South, Tennessee and that is a long time ago but it made me feel a bit like a,”local”.  The order was to make something savory. I needed something that would fit in one dish and something of a crowd pleaser as I was cooking for people I didn’t know. In the end I settled for a lasagna, in many ways the perfect comfort food, the flavorsome pasta, the ragu and soothing bechamel in a lovely mix!

As I was shopping I decided to make the ragu from a mix of beef mince and pork sausages. I have never tried that combination before but it worked a treat and I might do just the ragu again. It is always difficult to make a lasagna for just two unless I freeze some of it. I allowed for more time for the lasagna to cook as it was so large.

 

Beef and sausage lasagna

preparation time 10 minutes 

cooking time 55 minutes 

oven 180C or 350F

serves about 8

Ingredients

  • 500 gram or 17.5 oz mince beef
  • 750 gram or 26.5 oz good quality pork sausages, the better sausages the better the end result
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 onions
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp shaoxing rice wine
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 beef stock cubes
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1/2 dl or 1/4 cup tomato puree
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 dl or 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 dl or 1/2 cup of ketchup
  • 1 heaped tsp paprika powder
  • 3 tbsp hot sauce
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • oil to cook

Chop the carrot, onion and celery stalks fine, peel the garlic.

 

11Aug_Veg

 

Heat the oil in a large pan. Remove the sausage meat from it’s casings and pan fry until golden brown. Add the mince meat and let brown as well. Add the chopped up stock cubes, the shaoxing rice wine, mirin, soy sauce and tomato puree. Let the flavors blend and the tomato cook out a little. Then add the vegetables and let fry for a few minutes before adding the crushed tomatoes, the red wine, the thyme and the ketchup. Spice the dish with the hot sauce and paprika powder, add salt and pepper and be quite generous with the pepper. Let simmer for at least 30 minutes, 45 if you can. Stir every now and then and taste along the way.

 

11Aug_RaguCooking

 

You will be left with a lush and thick ragu, if it is runny at all remove the lid and reduce it.

 

11Aug_ReadyRagu

 

I made a cheesy bechamel using a mature cheddar cheese in what felt like large production. I used 3 pints, just over 2 liters of milk and there was just a little bit left over. I added some grated mature cheddar cheese for flavor and used the rest of the cheese for the lasagna topping.

 

11Aug_Bechamel

 

I let everything cool and pt the lasagna together before putting it together. I had a slightly stale roll and decided to use this to make a crunchy topping.

 

Lasagna topping 

preparation time 5 minutes 

cooking time 0 minutes 

Ingredients

  • 1 stale bread roll for a large lasagna
  • 2 dl or 1 cup of fine grated cheese, I used mature cheddar
  • 1 heaped tsp paprika powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt (optional)

Mix everything and set aside until the lasagna is ready to go in to the oven.

The first layer was the ragu followed by bechamel and then pasta, and again until there was no more room.

 

11Aug_Layering

 

 

Finish with the bechamel 11Aug_TopLayer

 

Add the topping before putting it in the oven.

11Aug_Topping

 

Lasagna is one of the things I love to cook as it fills the house with a lovely smell and you know that it will be nice to get in there are have a bite. It came out golden, the bread and cheese mix worked really well and added a little crunch.

 

11Aug_BakedLasagna

 

I am so happy to say it all went. and it was a nice evening with interesting foods, great jazz and hopefully the lasagna contribution helped a little bit along the way.

 

I haven’t had time to cook too much lately but I am bringing this to the rocking Fiesta Friday. It is hosted by the talented Angie, if you haven’t have a look at her beautiful and inspiring blog The Novice Gardener. Hopefully I will have a little more time to make more creative foods, this is more on the comforting side! Angie is partying with her co hosts Juhls who cooks and writes a lovely and very entertaining blog, The Not So Creative Cook (she is a lovely cook!) and inspiring Selma, host of Selma’s table. Selma has brought a masterpiece of a cake that looks and sounds delicious and yet has no sugar! How clever! Head over to her blog and get the recipe, I know I will 🙂

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Comments
13 Responses to “A crowd pleasing beef and sausage ragu lasagna”
  1. I love your lasagna, i am all about comfort food and this is the ultimate. Delicious.

    • petra08 says:

      hi Suzanne
      I don’t know why I don’t make it more often, the man wanted to grab a fork and get in there 🙂 thank you, I adore comfort food and yes, this is perfect! x

  2. Hilda says:

    I think that was an excellent choice for the occasion. It is a challenge to cook for people you don’t know, but a good lasagna is always welcome. Thanks for sharing it with us at Fiesta Friday too.

    • petra08 says:

      hi Hilda

      thank you 🙂 it is a little scary when you have no idea of what people eating your food likes but yes, it seems to have been appreciated!
      Sometimes I would love to go to a live Fiesta Friday party! 🙂 so many delicious dishes!

  3. skd says:

    Very delicious looking 🙂

  4. Jhuls says:

    Ahh! What a lovely dish to bring at FF pool party. I am taking a plate and get myself this crowd pleasing treat of yours. 😀 Thank you for taking this with you. I hope you are having a good time and happy FF. ❤

    • petra08 says:

      hi Jhuls
      Thank you so much 🙂 I hope you will like it! FF is a great party, it is impossible not to have fun! 🙂 thank you for co hosting!! x

  5. ooh this is right up my street!! yum!

  6. Hi Petra – first off, thank you for the kind words about our blogs! I must say that cooking for a crowd of people that you don’t know can be a bit daunting but you seem to have chosen the perfect dish – and I also rather love the less traditional, Asian ingredients that you have used too! When I make a lasagne, I always portion up and individually freeze what we haven’t eaten – it makes it so easy to produce dinner when there has not been time to cook! Just knock up a salad and ta-da! Thanks for sharing this with us at Fiesta Friday – have a wonderful week!

    • petra08 says:

      hi Selma

      you have a lovely and inspiring blog 🙂 I did the lasagna again and took your advice. It was defrosted and eaten only 2 days later when I was out! 🙂 Have a lovely week (I know a bit late) as well! x

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