- 1 small pack bacon lardons (or you could slice and dice a few rashers of bacon lurking in the fridge)
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 1 carrot (chopped)
- 1 stick of celery (chopped)
- 400g beef mince
- 1/2 beef stock cube (crumbled)
- Hot water
- 150g passata (or about same amount of canned/fresh tomatoes)
- 900ml milk
- Parsley (several stalks)
- 2 bay leaves (crushed)
- grated nutmeg (about 1/5th of a whole nutmeg)
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- A few slices of onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 5 black pepper corns
- 75g butter
- 3 heaped tbsp plain flour
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Sheets of lasagne
- 50g parmesan cheese (thinly sliced)
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the bacon and cook for about 3 minutes (on a medium heat). Add the onion, carrot and celery, stir and turn down the heat and cook for about 5 minutes. Turn up the heat and add the mince and cook until browned. Add the passata/tomatoes, the stock cube and sufficient hot water to cover the meat and vegetable mixture. Season with black pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, pour the milk into a largish microwaveable bowl or measuring jug. Add the parsley, bay leaves, nutmeg, thyme, sliced onion, garlic and pepper corns. Cover the container and microwave until just boiling (about 8 minutes at 750W). Leave the milk to stand until just before the meat has cooked.
Strain the milk and reserve. Make the (bechamel) sauce using the flavoured milk, butter and flour (and finished with black pepper) as in Cauliflower Cheese.
Now assemble the lasagne. Put a layer of meat sauce in the bottom of your lasagne dish (for this quantity I use what looks like a non-stick roasting tin (20x20x7cm) this contains three meat and three bechamel layers). Cover with sheets of lasagne. Then add a layer of bechamel sauce and cover with lasagne. Carry on until your final layer is bechamel sauce and put thin slices of parmesan on top of this.
Bake in the oven at 190C (Gas Mark 5) for about 30 minutes (or until it starts to bubble and brown). It will take longer if the lasagne is cooked from cold (having been assembled earlier).