April 12th 2019
Today I made a lasagne from scratch for the first time in my life and I’m actually quite proud of how it turned out. I even made my own white sauce! I had a bit of a difficult moment deciding whether to follow my Mum’s white sauce method or my Boss’s white sauce recipe, but in the end I opted for my Mum’s because it was more foolproof, and I am a fool.
First though, I cheated and diced my vegetables (onion, celery, carrot and then later garlic)with a food processor to get them into tiny, even sizes. I then put them on the hob with a glug of olive oil and let them sweat for a bit (that’s a horrible term).
Whilst they were sweating (still a horrible term) I browned the mince in a different pan. When it was starting to crisp, I added it to the vegetables, added two tins of plum tomatoes, a beef Oxo cube, some tomato puree, a healthy glug of both Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce, and an even healthier glug of red wine. Then I let the bolognese part of the lasagne cook for two hours and snacked on a charcuterie board:
A couple of hours later, I was satisfied that the bolognese had been cooking for long enough, and started to make the white sauce. White sauce is literally a combination of butter, flour and milk, but my boss instructed me to add the ingredients in that order, whereas my Mum told me to add the ingredients in the reverse order.
Apparently I was less likely to fuck it up if I added butter to a floured-milk rather than making a roux out of butter and flour and slowly adding milk to it.
Mum was right, of course, and I didn’t fuck it up. It went reasonably thick, but not too thick, and I’d successfully made a white sauce. I even added a little bit of mustard powder on her instruction.
Then, I began to construct my lasagne.
Meat, sheet, sauce. Meat, sheet, sauce. Meat, sheet, sauce. And then some crumbled mozzarella and grated parmesan on only half of the dish because the person I was cooking for doesn’t eat cheese. For some reason.
Then, it’s covered in foil for forty minutes in an oven at Gas Mark 6, and then the foil is removed and it’s put back in for another twenty minutes so that what little cheese ended up in the dish could crisp up and go crunchy. And a few hours later, here we go:
It was goooood. The bolognese was great because I’d let it cook for a decent amount of time, and sweating the vegetables was a genius touch. The middle layer of white sauce we initially thought would be superfluous, but it turned out well. However, much like the entire rest of the dish, it could’ve benefitted from additional cheese. Had I had my way I’d’ve had a layer of cheese after every layer of white sauce, but I did not have my way.
The dinner was still good though. And I’m pretty impressed that I could make it from scratch completely by myself.
Until tomorrow, I’ll be making that again.