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
- 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.
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.
You will be left with a lush and thick ragu, if it is runny at all remove the lid and reduce it.
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.
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.
preparation time 5 minutes
cooking time 0 minutes
- 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.
Add the topping before putting it in the oven.
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.
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 🙂