Written by Jeanette Smith 9th May 2020

When the boys were small, we didn’t have a lot of money, and I had to figure out how to make my pound of mince go around 7 of us.

I figured out that if I bulk up the dinners by chopping up veg into it, it would make double the amount. So this is what I did.

It also meant that the kids were getting their daily portions of vegetables without the struggle of trying to make them eat them.

Win! Win!

I have never changed my method, and still do it the same way now they’re all grown up.

So, what do you need?

  • A selection of chopped vegetables (the fussier the kid, the finer you chop) I used onion, carrot, mixed peppers, chillies, mushrooms and garlic.
  • 1lb mince beef
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 box passata
  • Teaspoon oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 beef oxo
  • Dash Worcester sauce
  • Lasagne sheets
  • Glass of red wine (optional)

For the bechamal sauce (White sauce)

  • 50g butter/margarine
  • Tablespoon plain flour
  • Milk – approx half pint to a pint
  • Grated cheese. I use a whole small block.

Let’s cook!

In a large pan, fry off your mince with a little salt and pepper. No need to add oil to mince as theres enough fat in it. If you have a poor quality meat, you might need to drain the fat, but if you get a good one from your local butcher, you’ll be fine.

Once your mince is browned all over add in the vegetables. Stir fry for about 2-3 minutes.

Add in the condiments, passata and tomatoes, and wine if using.

Tip: don’t throw the empty can and box out straight away. Give them a rinse with a little water and add to the sauce!

Reduce heat and simmer for around 20 minutes while you make the white sauce.

To make the white sauce:

In a medium large pan, melt the butter or margarine. If using marg, make sure it is one suitable for cooking.

When it’s melted, remove from heat and add in the flour. Stir it rapidly until it forms a ball in the pan.

Add a little milk and whisk it in to make a smooth paste. Continue to add milk, stirring continuously ensuring no lumps form. Stop after about half a pint unless it is too thick.

Whisk rapidly until it boils and thickens. Don’t stop whisking until it boils. It goes very quickly and if you miss it, you will end up with lumpy sauce.

If it’s too thick, add more milk and bring back to the boil.

Remove from heat and add most of the cheese, keeping some to sprinkle over the lasagna.

Ok, well done on getting this far 😁

Now everything is ready to build the lasagne.

In a casserole dish, place a layer of mince on the bottom.

Add a layer of lasagne sheets

Then add a layer of your cheesy white sauce, smoothing it out to cover all the lasagne.

Repeat this process until all the sauces are finished. I usually get 2 layers out of it.

Sprinkle the top with cheese.

Bake in a preheated oven on 180°/gas 7 for 30-40 minutes.

Serve with peas. If I need my lasagne to go around 10 people, I serve with peas, potato wedges and garlic bread.

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