So I initially thought this would be a poor substitute for a proper lasagne but it was actually pretty good! Totally worth the effort. Although, you could make the ragu the day before, but it will be difficult not to eat it!!
For the ragu:
500g good quality (and fatty) beef mince
100g pork belly, sliced (optional)
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 stick of celery, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 red chilli (optional)
2 tbsp tomato puree
50 ml whole milk
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 tin chopped tomatoes
100 ml red wine
1 beef stock cube/stock melt thingy
Olive oil for frying
For the bechamel sauce:
50 g butter
2 tsp psyllium husks
100 ml double cream
100 ml whole milk
50 g grated cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
For the omelette lasagne sheets:
About 5 eggs, depending on pan size – makes 3 thin omelettes in a 30cm pan
For the assembly:
100 g grated cheddar cheese
Pre-heat the oven to 160°C.
Brown the mince and the pork belly in a pan. Remove (but leave all of the fat in the pan) and gently fry the onion, pepper, celery, garlic and chilli for 5-10 mins until the onions and peppers are soft. Add the seasoning, spices and herbs to the meat and return it to the pan. Mix well with the vegetables. Push the mixture to one side of the pan and add the tomato puree. Sautee this briefly, add the milk to it, and mix everything together. Add the red wine and simmer for a few minutes to allow the alcohol to evaporate. Add the tinned tomatoes and add a tin-full of hot water to the pan, along with the stock cube. Bring to a simmer and bake in the oven for approximately 45 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced. Don’t worry if it looks dry, the lasagne will work best if it is. Remove from the oven and turn up the temperature to 170°C.
While the ragu is in the oven, prepare the bechamel sauce. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the psyllium husks. Whisk well and as the mixture starts to bubble and thicken, gradually add the cream and the milk. Continue whisking until the sauce thickens. The sauce won’t thicken in same way as it would if you were making a traditional bechamel. “Gloopy” is the best word for it. It won’t look nice, but don’t worry it will still taste like a bechamel! Add the cheese at the end and bring off the heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Now make the omelettes. Crack the eggs into a jug and whisk. Heat a non-stick frying pan that is about the same size as the ragu pan, and coat with a small amount of butter (a good way of doing this is to wrap a knob of batter in a piece of kitchen towel and rub it all over the pan). Add enough of the egg mixture to coat the pan (2mm thick is perfect). This will cook in seconds so release from the bottom of the pan and turn over to cook for a few seconds more. Cook another two omelettes in the same fashion.
Now assemble the lasagne! I start with a layer of ragu, an omelette, 1/4 of the bechamel sauce and then some grated cheese. Repeat. On the final layer, add the rest of the bechamel sauce and sprinkle generously with the rest of the cheese.
Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until the ragu is bubbling out around the edges of the pan and the top is nicely browned.
Serve with some steamed asparagus coated in melted butter. Yum!