Gluten Free Lasagne (Makes 2! And with a stack of veggies hidden in the mince!)
Meat and veggie mince mix
- 4 cups roughly chopped purple onion this is about 2 med-large purple onions
- 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 kg organic pasture raised beef mince
- 1.5 litres tomato passata I use passata because it comes in glass, instead of tins where either plastics or aluminium leach into the acidic tomatoes.
- 500 ml broth or 2 tbsp broth powder and 500ml water
- 1.5 tbsp Italian herb mix
- 1 tbsp sweet paprika
- 2.5 tsp sea salt (I use celtic sea salt fleur de sea or Himalayan in rotation)
- 4 cloves garlic optional if tummies digest it well
- 3 carrots, ends off cut into 2-3 bits ready to blitz
- 2 zucchini, end off, cut into 2-3 ready to blitz
- 1/2 bunch kale, roughly chopped and with stalks collard greens or spinach
- 1 cup purple cabbage, roughly chopped
- 1 large beetroot (don’t be too precious about the size. It’s all getting cooked downthe big pot
- 1 bunch fresh parsley continental or flat leaf. Doesn’t matter
- 2.5 packets Gluten Free Lasagne Pasta sheets If you run out of pasta sheets in your assembly, making super thin slices of sweet potato and layering those is a great rescue - or grain free - option!
- 3 cups grated cheddar to top your lasagnes
Meat and veggie mince
- On medium heat on the stove, get your onions and oil into a large French oven Le Creuset type pot or large stainless steel pot and soften the onions
- Once softened, add the mince, salt and roughly brown the mince stirring and breaking it up for about 10 minutes
- Add the Italian herbs, Paprika, broth/broth powder+water combo, passata and stir through until combined
- Blitz all of your vegetables that are going in in a high speed blender or thermomix - you might need to do this in two batches to fit it all into the vessel and you might need to stop after 3-4 seconds and push the bits that are still whole down the sides towards the blades and then fire it up again to get it 'minced'. Note: from a flexibility 'use what you have' factor, you can use white cabbage if you don't have purple, you can omit something if you don't have it, and you can use something else if you have that and it's all limp and needs using up.
- Place the minced veggies into the mince / passata pot and stir through.
- Leave this all to cook on low once it's been brought to the boil, for an hour or two. Pro tip: If you have to go out, put it into a 130C / 250F oven with the lid on and go out so you don't need to worry about losing time.
- To make the bechamel, get a medium saucepan out and heat the milk, whole spring onions, salt and pepper in a pot until bubbles form around the outside, and immediately at that point take it off the heat and pour into a large jug or bowl that's easy to pour from.
- Measure your flours so that they're ready to go and clean saucepan and pop it back on the heat and melt the butter into it, being careful not to burn it.
- Turn the heat off for a minute, while you whisk the flours into the butter until you get a thick, pastry looking ball
- Now switch the heat back on medium and get a stick blender out. Let the 'roux' cook off for a minute until you can smell a delicious, rich pastry smell then add a tiny splash of the hot milk mixture and take your stick blender and combine. The first couple of milk additions will have it looking like a hot mess and that's TOTALLY NORMAL. Exhibit A!
- Keep adding about 1/4-1/3 cup of milk each time and mix for about 4 rounds, then you can increase to 1/2 cup for the last 4 rounds of milk adding and handheld mixer smoothing. Blitz with the stick blender on high until it's a nice, smooth consistency and all the spring onions are blitzed through it too (my secret flavour weapon!)
- Now, add your 2 cups of grated cheddar to the bechamel and stir through until melted. This will serve to thicken and add flavour. If it's runny at this point after those 2 cups, add your lucky 3rd emergency cup, but you shouldn't need it if you've used all the same flours/measurements as above.
- You are ready to assemble you clever thing. It's downhill from here.
- Preheat your oven to 180C/350F fan-forced and get two large rectangular baking tins out ready to assemble.
- Lay out 1.5cm/1/2 inch thick of meat+veggie mince on the base (Rustic approximation all the way though, you don't need to get the ruler out!) and then top with lasagne sheets to fit as one, even single layer - you may need to break up your sheets depending on your tray.
- Pour out some bechamel to cover the sheets, and then add your second layer of sheets onto the bechamel.
- Then pop another meat+veg mince layer onto that and another layer of sheets. Pro tip: Running out of sheets for your two lasagnes and panicking at this point? Long ways thin zucchini slices or mandolin-cut sweet potato slices are a great emergency layer if needed. You're welcome!
- Now pour your final layer of bechamel and sprinkle the cheddar on top. You are officially ready to bake one for tonight and either freeze one for later or drop it off to a friend in need because you have a big heart and you do nice things for people you care about, right?
- Bake on 180C/350F for an hour, not too high to the top, I like to bake it on the middle layer of the oven. Towards the end of the cook time make a simple salad. I do cos or butter lettuce, purple onion and vinaigrette. The lasagne's fancy enough, thanks very much. No more grand efforts required.
- Sit with the people you love. Enjoy. Heat up leftovers with a splash of water in the base in a new, smaller dish so that it doesn't dry out and send the kids off to school with lasagne hot pots the next day. Best parent/grandparent EVER. Can't wait to hear how you enjoy it. Tag me on instagram @lowtoxlife and show me your wares. They're usually much prettier than my rustic efforts. Alexx x