The Househusband's Cookbook

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Three Meat Lasagna

Approximate cooking time: 3 hours
Makes 8 servings

Three Meat Lasagna

This is one of those recipes that I have in my cookbook strictly for me. It is a manly, meaty dish that I won't even pretend is healthy for anything but your soul. If pressed hard enough, I will probably tell you that lasagna is my favorite food in the whole world, but only if it's well-made. I have tried dozens of different ways of making lasagna, including some with sausage, some with ham and chicken, some with alfredo sauce and spinach, and some that are more Mexican than Italian. Still, there is nothing greater than lasagna bolognese, a.k.a. lasagna with meat sauce. I have spent most of my life perfecting this recipe, and now I present to you one of my proudest achievements: three meat lasagna.

Three Meat Lasagna

What you'll need:

1-1/2 pounds ground beef
6 slices bacon, diced
1/4 pound ham, diced
1 pound fresh mozarella, sliced into 16 pieces
1 cup (4 oz) grated parmesan cheese
1 small onion, diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 medium celery stalk, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons AP flour
2-1/4 cups whole milk
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup good white wine
6 ounces tomato paste (a small can)
3/4 pound dry lasagna noodles
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
Nutmeg
Cayenne pepper (optional)


Three Meat Lasagna

Heat a dutch oven or large pot over high heat. If you're going to use cast iron, as I do, make sure it is extremely well-seasoned as you are going to be boiling something pretty acidic for an hour. Once the pot is hot, add the ground beef along with a heavy pinch of salt. Stir occasionally until all the meat is browned. Drain and set aside.

Three Meat Lasagna

Place the pot back over high heat and add the ham and bacon. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the onion, celery, garlic, and carrot. Cook for another 5-15 minutes over medium heat (the time determines how soft the vegetables will be in the final product; for softer vegetables, cook them longer), stirring often.

Three Meat Lasagna

Once the vegetables are softened, raise the heat back to high and pour in the wine, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pan. Return the ground beef to the pot, along with the herbs and cayenne pepper. Stir for 1 minute.

Three Meat Lasagna

Add the tomato paste and chicken broth. Stir until the paste is fully incorporated. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium-low. Let simmer for 45 minutes.

Three Meat Lasagna

Once the 45 minutes is up, check on the sauce. If most of the chicken broth has reduced, take it off the heat. If it's still watery, leave it to simmer while you make the béchamel. Either way, preheat the oven to 350°. Then melt the butter in a small, wisk-safe saucepan over low heat. Add the flour and wisk to form a roux. Cook for 3-5 minutes, wisking regularly.

Three Meat Lasagna

Raise the heat to high and add the milk, wisking constantly. Continue wisking heavily for at least 1 minute--preferably longer--while the milk comes to a boil. Once it starts to bubble and thicken, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and then add salt and nutmeg to taste. Meanwhile, add salt and pepper to the bolognese.

Three Meat Lasagna

When you're ready to start assembling the lasagna, it is easiest to form a prep station with all the ingredients you'll need laid out in one place. Start by spreading a thin layer of bolognese over the bottom of a lasagna dish. Then add a layer of lasagna noodles, completely uncooked, followed by another layer of bolognese.

Three Meat Lasagna

Drizzle over this a third of the béchamel and a third of the parmesan cheese. Then add half the mozarella. Repeat for the second layer, but don't add any more mozarella.

Three Meat Lasagna

For the top layer, make sure you use the last of the bolognese, béchamel, and parmesan. Top with the rest of the mozarella.

Three Meat Lasagna

Bake for at least an hour (longer if you don't like your noodles al dente). Let the finished lasagna rest for 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!



-e. magill 5/12/2011








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