About this recipe:A rich and hearty main course (not for anyone who is counting calories), a family favourite. I use ketchup as an ingredient, I find the leading brand helps the flavours to develop better. I can't stress enough how a good quality ketchup makes all the difference. I left it out once and everyone could tell. This is the first time I've shared this recipe.
Fry the onion in oil on a low heat until translucent in a large pan. I find a wok works best. Increase the heat and add the minced beef, keep it moving until the meat is browned.
Break up the stock cube with your fingers while sprinkling into the pan. Add garlic to the pan making sure it is well distributed. Add the paprika; stir well.
Add the basil and oregano to taste. Adding the right amount at this stage is crucial: taste, taste, taste! Turn down the heat, letting the herbs release their flavour for a moment.
Add the tinned tomatoes and mushrooms. When the mix starts to simmer gently add the tomato puree and mix well, bring back to simmer point. Again at this stage it is all about taste, add salt and black pepper and Maggi® seasoning, if using.
Once you have the seasoning right, add the ketchup. When you are happy, turn off the Bolognese and allow to cool slightly.
In the meantime make a cheese sauce: Add the butter to a saucepan and melt. Add the flour to a saucepan and cook for at few minutes until the raw flour taste is gone. Stir in the milk a little at a time until thoroughly mixed, then heat to thicken. Add the cheese, reserving about 1/4 for the end. Add salt and white pepper to taste.
Preheat the oven to 200 C / Gas 6.
Now to build the final dish. I prefer to use a roasting dish. It's quite deep and allows for all of the Bolognese to be used. Add a 2cm layer of the Bolognese. Cover this with lasagne sheets.
Add the rest of the Bolognese and another layer of lasagne sheets. On top of this add the cheese sauce.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Take from the oven and add the remainder of the cheese, sprinkling liberally. put back in the oven for 10 minutes.
Take from the oven and serve! It's also delicious cold.
Serve with either fries or salad, maybe even both.
Lamb or turkey mince, even quorn, can be used but the taste will drastically change. If using quorn use an extra stock cube of your choice. You can use fresh tomatoes, but I find this a lot of extra effort with little added benefit. If pressed use packet white sauce and add cheese, but do not use packet cheese sauce.