Monday, August 8, 2011

Beef Lasagna

Disposable foil tray - a set of 3 for RM7.90 at Presto Supermarket
When I first made this dish, I was happy with the results. The only downside was having to scrub the bottom of the casserole dish I used to remove the sticky bits after finishing the lasagna. So recently I made it again using a disposable tray which saved me a whole lot of washing up. I would highly recommend it! After you're done serving the lasagna, just dispose of the foil tray. Super convenient!

Here's the recipe again:
I packet 250g San Remo Instant Lasagna Sheets (be sure the pack says 'No pre-cooking required - which means you don't have to soak the sheets etc beforehand)
2 tablespoons olive oil
I garlic clove, peeled and crushed
I onion chopped finely
2 large tomatoes chopped
500g minced beef
1 tsp dried Italian Herbs blend from McCormick
250g tomato paste - mixed with 750ml water
200g Tasty grated cheddar cheese
100g shredded mozzarella cheese

Making the meat sauce:
1) Heat oil, add onions then garlic. Stir over medium heat till onion has softened.
2) Add minced beef, stir till meat is no longer pink.
3) Add chopped tomatoes and stir for 3 minutes.
4) Add tomato paste + water mixture, 1 tsp dried Italian herbs, pinch of salt and 2-3 tsp black pepper - stir over medium heat for 5 mins
5) Cover and simmer sauce for 1 hour 
6) After an hour, sauce should not be too watery but very moist. Switch off heat. Taste the sauce and be sure you're happy with the seasoning (salt & black pepper). If you think the sauce is too salty, add a pinch of sugar and stir.

Assembling:

Grease the foil tray nicely at the bottom and at the sides too.
Lay down 3 lasagna sheets (they can overlap slightly - if not that's ok too)
Spread the meat sauce all over the sheets. This is important as the sheets need to be moist in order to cook nicely.
Spread a layer of Tasty cheddar cheese all around.
Repeat by placing another layer of lasagna sheets + meat sauce + Tasty cheddar cheese
Repeat with the last layer of lasagna sheets + meat sauce + Mozzarella cheese

Cover with foil.
Always cover with foil for first 20 minutes of cooking time so the cheese on top doesn't brown too fast.
Place in pre-heated oven at 180C for 30 minutes. 
Note: After 20 minutes - remove the top sheet of foil.

Note:
  • There will be about 15 lasagna sheets in a 250g packet of which you would use 9. Store the rest properly.
  • Be sure when you distribute the meat sauce - you do it evenly for 3 layers. Meaning don't be too generous with your 1st layer cause then you might find yourself short of sauce for the final layer.
  • If you don't have the tiny bottle of Italian Herbs blend, use 1tsp of oregano + a sprinkling of rosemary
  • Lasagna is best eaten once it has 'set'. It cuts properly better too. I would suggest allowing it to cool for an hour or more before serving. 
  • You can even store lasagna in the freezer up to 3 months. Cut into squares, wrap in cling film and store in freezer.

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