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Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Lambsagne....Otherwise known as lamb lasagne

So after a concious environmental decision to cut down the amount of beef we eat....lambsagne (lamb lasagne) was born. Yes, i'm aware that lamb is no better than beef for the environment, but lamb can't always be used as a substitute to beef so overall less is eaten, EXCEPT where this recipe is concerned!! I love beef, but lambsagne may well be better than a traditional beef lasagne. Give it a try and tell me what you think!

Time Saver: While lasagne isn't the quickest dish to make (just over an hour), it IS just as easy to make for 8 people than it is for 2 people, therefore freezing multiple portions is something I swear by for the weeknights.

This recipe basically just substitutes lamb for beef, however I have a few secret ingredients that might help you make your lasagne that little bit more tasty.


500g lamb mince, beef mince (from a good butcher if you want that extra tasty kick) or Quorn mince (for the veggies and health concious)
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
3 fresh tomatoes
2 tins chopped tomatoes
2 oxo cubes
1.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1tsp chilli powder or half a fresh chilli
Fresh herbs to taste (basil, oregano etc)
Knob of butter
Plain flour (about a heaped tablespoon)
1 pint milk
Lasagne sheets
Small amount of grated cheese - to taste

Serving: 4

1) Firstly, chop the onions and fry with a little olive oil in a large frying pan.
2) Once starting to brown, crush the garlic in to the frying pan and stir.
3) Add mince to the pan, draining fat when necessary - i.e. make sure the mince doesn't boil. Stirring occasionally until browned
TIP: If you want to make it really tasty, fry a little mince at a time in a separate pan until crispy and add to the large frying pan.
4) Add roughly chopped fresh tomatoes, herbs, chilli powder, oxo cubes and season. Stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
5) Add tinned chopped tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Leave this bubbling (to reduce down) for about 20 minutes, whilst you make the white sauce.
6) Preheat oven to 190 degrees (170 for fan ovens)
7) Now some people might buy white sauce instead of making their own at this point, but please don't - neither the consistency or flavour is even close to as good as the real thing, and a white sauce is really not difficult to make. You can all do it - I promise!
8) Place the knob of butter in a saucepan and melt over a low heat. As soon as it has melted, remove from the heat.
9) Add enough plain flour to the melted butter to form a crumbly dough.
10) Replace pan on a medium heat and add milk whilst whisking everything together to remove all lumps.
11) Don't forget to stir the mince so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
12) Continue to stir the white sauce until it forms the consistency of custard, don't let it boil though. Remove from heat.
13) Now for the fun part :) Assembly
14) Pour a third of the mince into the baking dish, cover with lasagne sheets (no need to pre boil them), pour over a third of the white sauce, making sure it covers all of the lasagne sheets. Repeat another 2 times. Sprinkle grated cheese over the top (last layer of white sauce).
15) Place in the oven for 25-30mins until top has browned.
16) Enjoy :) and freeze the rest.

Tell me what you guys put in your lasagne or lambsagnes and let me know if you enjoy this recipe! All feedback welcome! (I'm about to eat a portion I froze last week and got out to defrost before work this morning - can't wait).