You know that silky, gooey, stringy melted cheesy thing that the masses take for granted? You know, you find it on pizzas, enchiladas, cheese on toast and let’s not forget lasagne. Well, that yummy melted gooeyness is my nemesis.
A small amount of aged, hard cheddar and I may scrape through with no symptoms, but as soon as it comes into contact with heat and melts, I get major problems. Instantly.
On the off chance that others share my affliction, I thought I’d share my dairy free version of a lasagne. It’s nothing ground breaking, and if you eat cheese, you will taste the difference but even so, this is one very, very tasty dish.
A great tip to improving dishes that are lacking in a major ingredient such as cheese, is to add extra flavours along the way. Splashing in a little Worcester Sauce will add depth of flavour to any mince based dish, and the scraping of nutmeg on top of this lasagne is just fabulous.
I always tend to bulk out mince with veggies and beans. It makes it more economical so the meat goes further and it’s a great opportunity to up the fibre & vitamin levels. I had some cubed butternut squash that needed using, but feel free to replace that with any root veg such as carrot or parsnip. It can always be grated first if it needs disguising ;)
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 500 g beef mince
- 1 onion diced
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 leek sliced
- 1 tin of beans I used red kidney beans, but any beans would be fine even a tin of baked beans
- 200 g butternut squash or sweet potato
- 1 tin of tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons Worcester sauce
- 1 glass red wine 275 ml
- 850 ml soya milk
- 50 g dairy free margarine
- 50 g plain flour
- Salt & pepper
- Lasagne sheets
- Mild paprika
- Freshly grated nutmeg
Heat the oil in a saucepan until very hot.
Add the minced beef and fry for a few minutes to gain some colour, being sure to break up any lumps.
Add in the onion, garlic, leek, butternut squash tins of tomatoes & beans and Worcester sauce. Season well and bring just to a boil, then turn the heat down until it is very gently simmering and leave to bubble away for an hour or more. If you are in a hurry you can load up your lasagne sooner than this, although the flavours are best left for an hour to do their thing.
Put the soya milk, margarine and flour into a medium sized saucepan. Turn on the heat and begin whisking, and keep whisking until the sauce is thick and creamy.
Spoon a third of the meaty mix into the bottom of a roasting tin, layer with lasagne sheets & top them with a third of the white sauce. Top with lasagne sheets and repeat until all is used up and the last layer on the lasagne is the white sauce.
Sprinkle the top generously with mild paprika & grate a quarter to a half of a nutmeg evenly over the top also.
Bake in an oven preheated to 350/180/gas 4 for 45-50 minutes.
Serve with a fresh green salad.
This recipe was sponsored by Lea & Perrins, that truly traditional brand of Worcester Sauce. Add a splash or two to any dish that includes minced beef, or cheese. Sigh.