Thursday, 9 January 2014

Slow Cooker Lasagne (Update)

 

I am reposting (originally posted on the 29-11-13) this recipe because I have added a few updates. This is just a brilliant recipe and perhaps you were lucky enough to get a new slow cooker over Christmas, this might give you some inspiration!

Since I bought my slow cooker a couple of weeks ago, I still take great pleasure in coming through the door (after multiple school runs!) to the smell of dinner cooking. Especially when the recipes I have been cooking for years taste even better than before.

Like many busy households I found that it was harder and harder to fit the cooking of a proper home cooked meal into our busy schedule, if I cooked our meal early in the day, keeping it warm or reheating it, meant overcooked or dried up food. Cooking fresh often meant I wasn't able to spend more time with my children after school, it was all becoming a bit of a squeeze.

Now things are much more relaxed in the afternoons. I can go about my business without that chilling feeling of  "did I turn off the cooker?" , as it happens now I haven't turned off the cooker as it is slowly cooking the dinner with no help from me (in fact the less I touch it the better!).

I had my slow cooker two days when I mentioned it to a friend of mine, she mentioned it to her co-workers and family, so between the two of us we are responsible for the sale of seven eleven slow cookers, I tell you they are that good! Here is a handy guide I read before I bought mine, it helped me make my *decision.

Recipe adapted from Audrey Deane's The Slow Cooker Cookbook  

Serves 4-6

Ingredients
1 Garlic clove, crushed or finely chopped
½ Red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
½ Courgette, diced
1 Onion, finely chopped
4 Mushrooms, finely chopped
450-500g Minced beef
1 Beef Oxo stock cube
1 tsp Dried oregano
200g Jar of pasta sauce
400g Can of chopped tomatoes
Seasoning
8-10 Lasagne sheets

Cheese sauce:
50g Butter
50g Plain flour
500ml Milk
1tsp English mustard
Seasoning
220g Grated cheese
or
470g Jar Cheesy lasagne sauce (I used Dolmio)

Method
As I have a 6.5ltr slow cooker, I have doubled the cheese sauce recipe, my ceramic insert is fairly large and I wanted plenty of creamy cheese sauce to go around, however if you possess a smaller slow cooker then half the cheese sauce recipe above.


In a large bowl mix together the garlic, red pepper, courgette, mushrooms, onion, beef, crushed oxo cube, dried oregano, pasta sauce and tinned tomatoes. Give it a good stir with a wooden spoon and season.


Place one third of the minced beef mixture onto the base of your ceramic insert, layer two to three lasagne sheets over the beef mix. Don't worry about overlapping the pasta, it will all cook perfectly in the slow cooker.


Continue in this way until you have at least three layers of lasagne sheets. (Update: The three layers of lasagne sheets are needed to soak up all the juices from the beef.) Pour over the jar of cheesy lasagne sauce and cook on High for 4-5 hours.
OR
If you haven't time to make the cheese sauce from scratch now, put the lid on and cook on High for 4-5 hours. Make the sauce (below) when you get home pour it over the cooked lasagne, sprinkle over half of the grated cheese and allow to cook for a further 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.


Make the cheese sauce as follows, melt the butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat. When melted add the plain flour and whisk until the roux begins to come together. Slowly add all the milk, whisking all the time until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from the heat, add the mustard and season to taste.


While the sauce is still hot, add half of the grated cheese and whisk until all the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Pour the cheese sauce over the top of the lasagne, spread it out with a spoon or spatula.


Top the lasagne with the other half of the grated cheese.


Pop the lid on and cook on High for 4-5 hours. Make sure the lid is on securely so that none of the moisture escapes.


A bubbly hot dinner awaits you when you get in the door, nothing better!


This is recipe is too good not to try, it is has become my go to lasagne recipe.

*This is not a sponsored post, just my personal opinion :)  

10 comments:

  1. I am concerned that the lasagne sheets absorb any greese from the meat. can the meat be cooked and any grease skimmed first?

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  2. Feel free to cook the meat prior to adding it to the slow cooker, however if you are using minced steak then I'm sure the fat content would be very low. I'd love to know how you get on and thank you for your comment.

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  3. I hope you don't mind but I've shared the link for this recipe on facebook as I made this today and it was delicious! I don't think I'll bother using another recipe for slow cooked lasagne ever after finding this one. Thank you for sharing it! :-)

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  4. I hope you don't mind but I've shared the link for this recipe on facebook as I made this today and it was delicious! I don't think I'll bother using another recipe for slow cooked lasagne ever after finding this one. Thank you for sharing it! :-)

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    Replies
    1. No problem Louise, I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

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  5. I found this to be quite watery any idea why? I usually like a thick tomato sauce

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    1. The very nature of a slowcooker is that it traps moisture and the presence of the vegetables and high water content of these particular vegetables may lead to a slight increase moisture and the sauce being thinner than usual. I suggest that perhaps reducing the amount of the sauce by half (100g) and adding some tomato paste instead, this might make the sauce more to your liking.

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  6. I found this tasteless and watery even following the recipe to the letter

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    Replies
    1. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy the lasagna and I appreciate that you took time and effort making it. The original recipe comes from Audrey Deane's (@audreydeane1) cookbook The Slow Cooker Cookbook, perhaps she could offer you some advice on how to improve the flavour. Thank you for dropping by, kind regards Lisa

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  7. Lesley, I'm glad you like the recipe. It is just brilliant having your dinner ready for you when you walked through the door. Enjoy

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