lamb mince

Mincing it up on Monday…Lasagne

Yudhika's home-made lasagne

Yudhika’s home made lasagne

I tend to run out of recipe ideas on Monday…who doesn’t? It seems that I do all my ‘pull out the stops’ cooking from Friday to Sunday. This weekend was a particularly big cooking weekend with Soweto TV shooting an episode of Kasi Kitchen on Saturday. This means lots of food….lots of feasting and a general slump in Monday’s cooking Morale.

For a while, I tried the Meat Free Monday option – this did not go down well with my family! The kids and I are seriously devout carnivores. So much for going green…we tried pizza night…sausage night but it was back to the hearty home cooked options die to the lack of enthusiasm from my audience.

Minced lamb, chicken or beef is perfect for a lazy day. With a few spices and the basics, it can be turned into a fuss free feast in a few minutes.

Rob and I are keeping with our Monday date night tradition – the kids are going to feast on this meaty lamb lasagne!

Just a few thoughts…I suggest using an AMC pot to cook the mince – you need to cook with a fantastic pot to get the mince browned beautifully. I add a good dose of red chilli powder to liven up this dish…if you are cooking for kids, you can leave this out.

For the non lasagne fans…you can try this mincy option – Layered lamb and mushrooms – click here: https://yudhikayumyum.com/2012/09/06/484/

Lasagne

Serves 6

250g lasagne sheets

For the mince:

50ml sunflower oil
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
100g chopped bacon
4 cloves garlic, crushed
10ml crushed ginger
5ml dried oregano
Few sprigs of fresh thyme
15ml hot paprika or red chilli powder
700g lamb mince
1 x 400g tin whole tomatoes, chopped
75ml tomato paste
1 stock cube, preferably beef or oxtail
Salt, to season, optional
Black pepper, to season

250ml grated cheddar, topping

To prepare the mince:

Heat the sunflower oil on medium in a 30cm AMC pot.
Fry the cinnamon stick and bay leaf.
Add the chopped onion, diced carrot and celery.
Add the bacon pieces and continue stirring.
When the bacon browns, stir in the crushed garlic, ginger, oregano, fresh thyme and then the paprika.
Add the lamb mince and stir until the meat browns.
Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and stock cubes.
Simmer until the mince is cooked through – it should not be too watery.
Check the seasoning before adding salt.
Season the mince with black pepper.

For the sauce:

Melt 100g butter and whisk in 100g cake flour.
Continue whisking on a low heat and then gradually add 950ml full cream milk.
Continue whisking until the sauce thickens and then add 5ml coarse salt to season.
Whisk 250ml grated cheddar into the sauce and check the seasoning.
Add 100ml fresh cream to the sauce and stir.

To assemble:
Place a layer of white sauce in a casserole dish.
Place a layer of lasagne sheets over the white sauce making sure the sheets do not overlap.
Layer the mince over the lasagne sheets and then add a layer of white sauce.
Continue the process and end with a layer of white sauce.
Sprinkle the grated cheese over the white sauce layer.
Leave the lasagne to stand at room temperature for 45 minutes to an hour.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes.

Yudhika’s Tips:
You can use store-bought cheese sauce if you are short on time.
Use macon instead of bacon if you prefer.
Add chopped green chillies to the lamb mince for a spicier lasagne.
Beef mince can be used instead of lamb.

Layered Lamb and Mushrooms

Layered Lamb and Mushrooms

I am just loving my new AMC gourmet cookware units!  I prepared the mince, covered the pan with foil and popped it straight into the oven!

Layered Lamb and Mushrooms

Serves 4
Ingredients:

60ml sunflower oil
2 sticks cinnamon
1 bay leaf
2 cloves
2 cardamom pods
5ml cumin seeds
1 large onion, finely chopped
7,5ml – 10ml coarse salt
15ml crushed ginger
10ml crushed garlic
30ml mixed masala – I used my very own Nan’s Lazy Day Masala
1kg lamb mince
2 sprigs curry leaves
250ml frozen peas
1000ml cooked Basmati Rice
50ml melted butter
150ml boiling water
400g button mushrooms, sliced
Sunflower oil, to saute mushrooms
4 spring onions, finely sliced
Fresh coriander, to garnish

Here’s how:

Heat oil in a thick bottomed pot.
Add the cinnamon stick and bay leaves.
When the spices are fragrant, add the cloves, cardamom pods and cumin seeds.
Saute until the seeds begin to splutter and then add the chopped onion.
Stir the salt into the onions and saute until the onions are light golden brown.
Add the crushed ginger and garlic.
Stir for a few seconds and then stir in the mixed masala.
Mix the masala with the onions taking care not to burn the spices.
Stir in the lamb mince and continue stir frying.
Use the back of a spoon to break down the lumps in the mince.
Stir the mince until browned and then stir in the curry leaves.
Remove the cardamom pods from the mince.
Check the seasoning and add more salt if necessary.
Place the mince in a casserole dish and then scatter the frozen peas over.
Layer the cooked rice over the peas and pour the melted butter over.
Pour the boiling water over the rice and then cover with foil.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes or until the rice has steamed through.
Heat a skillet and then pour in a little sunflower oil.
Saute the mushrooms in batches until golden brown.
Season the mushrooms with salt.
Layer the cooked mushrooms over the rice.
Garnish with sliced spring onion and coriander.

Yudhika’s tips:

The cooked rice must be cold for this recipe.
I use an AMC gourmet cookware unit which can be used from the stove top to the oven.
Cook the mushrooms in batches to prevent them from stewing in the pan.
Cooked brown lentils can be used instead of frozen peas.