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A kickass beef lasagna borne out of true love.

I tend to avoid ordering lasagna when I’m eating out because they often turn out to be too try, too tart or just downright nasty. So my BF has decided that the only way to get me to appreciate Garfield’s favourite food is to make them at home.

And what do you know….he makes the meanest lasagna in town! It’s so delicious and so cheap (compared to eating out) that it really doesn’t make any sense for us to eat lasagna outside.

I know how some people might find making lasagna quite a daunting task. But truly, it’s really simple! The secret is…COMPARTMENTALISATION! Just file all the lasagna making steps into 3 categories:

(1) Cooking awesome minced beef
(2) Making white sauce
(3) Assembling lasagna.

I find that once you’ve compartmentalised cooking tasks like that, the steps would become much, much simpler and straight forward. It’s also easier to know which ingredients to prepare or take out first, which utensils to use and generally, it keeps the stress level down! Okay, it keeps my stress level down!

So here’s the recipe to my BF’s meanest lasagna in town, with step by step pictures of the man doing the works ;)

p/s: Mom, these are not my fingers…don’t freak out please.

(1)For the awesome minced beef:

  • 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 300 grams of minced beef
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 tin of tomatoes
  • 50ml milk
  • Oregano
  • salt
  • coarse black pepper

(2)For the white sauce:

  • 25 grams of butter
  • 25 grams of all-purpose (plain) flour
  • 300ml milk
  • black pepper
  • salt
  • ground nutmeg
  • 90 grams of cheddar cheese

(3)For the assembling

  • Lasagna sheets
  • Oregano
  • salt
  • coarse black pepper
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 handfuls of grated parmesan cheese

Lets begin with………(1) Making the awesome minced beef:

# – First of all, dump the grated carrots, minced onions and minced garlic into a well-oiled wok or a big pan. Stir a bit.

# – Add 2 bay leaves.

# – A dash of oregano. You can use fresh herbs of course!

# – And a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce. Personally, I think Worcestershire sauce makes everything tastes better!

# – Don’t forget a dash of salt to bring all the taste out.

# – And finish of with black pepper. By now, you should probably have the the best damn tasting carrots and onions in the world!

# – Next, dump in the minced beef…

# – Some tomato puree for colours.

# – Followed by whole can of chopped plum tomatoes and a bit more….

# – Don’t forget the milk.

# – And lastly, a dash of Tabasco sauce for a good kick.

# – Stir till all the minced beef are cooked. Then, set aside.

Now, it’s time for for………(2) Making white sauce:

# – Melt the butter in a saucepan.

# – Then dump the flour in and beat with a wooden spoon….

# – Till it looks like sticky yellow dough!

# – Add 1/3 of the milk and replace the wooden spoon with a whisk.

# – Whisk till smooth.

# – Then add more milk and whisk till smooth again. Repeat till milk’s finished.

# – Now add some nutmeg for taste.

# – And cheese and black pepper. Whisk, whisk, whisk, till smooth…

# – Till it looks something like this. Smooth and smells so delicious! White sauce, DONE!

Now that we’ve gotten (1) and (2) out of the way, it’s time for………..(3) Assembling the lasagna:

# – Very importantly, remove the bay leaves from the minced beef so you won’t bite into a tough piece of leaf while eating your lasagna…

# – Then pour half of the minced beef into a 10″ roasting pan or a deep baking tray

# – Flatten the minced beef down so that the entire bottom of the pan is covered.

# – Then lay the lasagna sheets over the minced beef. Try to keep all the minced beef under the sheets.

# – If you have exposed minced beef, just break the sheets into the desired sizes ;)

# – Next, pour 1/2 of the white sauce over the lasagna sheets.

# – And spread it out till it covers everything.

# – Followed by the rest of the minced beef. Spread it out to cover everything.

# – And more lasagna sheets.

# – Now pour in the rest of the white sauce & spread it all around.

# – Slice 2 tomatoes and lay them out over the white sauce like this.

# – And NEVER EVER forget the cheese! Top off with some salt, oregano and black pepper. Stick it in a pre-heated oven at 225 degrees celcius and bake for 25 minutes.

25 minutes later….

# – A delicious looking, oh so gorgeous lasagna for 9 people!

# – Serve with homemade garlic bread.

# – There were only 4 of us, but we ate 7 portions of lasagna among us hehehe.

# – Juicy, beefy, cheesy lasagna…

# – Simply superb.

To my BF: Thanks for such a beautiful lasagna! <3 And that...is how we roll it. Happy lasagna making!

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Succulent beef burgers from scratch, woohoo!

I saw a handbag on an online shopping site. I wanted it so bad. It would cost me an arm and leg though….

So I made beef burgers to bribe the man. I got the handbag….with a dress to boot.

Ladies, these burgers work!

The ingredients:

  • 400g beef mince
  • 1 small red onion, peeled 
and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon of ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • Few dashes of Tabasco sauce
  • Sea salt & ground 
black pepper

# – Throw the finely chopped red onion and minced beef into a mixing bowl.

# – Add a tablespoon of ketchup.

# – Followed by a tablespoon of mustard powder. Of course, you can squeeze yours out from a plastic bottle if you want. Who can tell the difference?

# – Don’t forget a dash of Worcestershire sauce.

# – As well as a couple of dashes of Tabasco sauce for kicks.

# – Most importantly, season with some sea salt.

# – And also black pepper.

Now, go wash your hands properly because…

# – You have to stick them into the bowl to mix everything up till combined. Massaging minced meat is one of the most therapeutic things to do, trust me.

# – Remember, till they’re all combined into a lump of gorgeousness.

# – Now shape them into 4 burger patties. Stick them into the fridge for 30 minutes to firm them up. Not too long as you don’t want the patties to dry up!

# – Then, heat up a well greased griddle and then lay all four patties on it for about 3 minutes.

# – Flip them over to cook the other sides, also about 3 minutes. You can cook them longer if you prefer your beef well done.

# – Remove from heat and onto the homemade burger buns (might post the recipe for this). Feeling fancy? Put it on a lettuce and drizzle some mayo all over…

# – Not fancy enough? Stick a slice of fresh tomato on top.

# – And don’t forget fries. Fries, very, very critical, this one!

# – And then bite onto a deliciously juicy, flavourful homemade burger made with love (and /cough/ materialistic /cough/ intention).

And that, is how you make your man buy you an expensive bag. Willingly ;)

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Spicy Beer Cottage Pie My Way

The BF has been dropping hints about cottage pies & shepherd’s pies since forever. So one day, because I’m just so unbelievably awesome, I decided to materialise his wish.

It’s definitely not the type of cottage pies he grew up eating. For one the ones he’s accustomed to pies that have no chillies. And, it’s nowhere near the standard of his grandmother’s (which according to him is the best cottage pie in the whole wide world) BUT mine was juicy and delicious ;)

So if you’re interested in making an impressive looking, impressive tasting but impressively simple dish, here goes:

For the filling:

  • 1 chili, sliced
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 2 handfuls of frozen peas
  • 1 small bottle of beer
  • 300+ gm of minced beef
  • 3 tablespoons of ketchup

For the crust:

  • Peeled & chopped 8 small potatoes, or 2 large ones
  • Some milk (or whipping cream, which I naughtily used :P)
  • Salt & pepper

# – First of all, heat up some oil in a pot and brown the minced beef.

# – Throw in the onions. Stir.

# – Throw in the chillies. Stir.

# – Throw in the grated carrots. Stir.

# – Pour in beer till it covers the top of mixture slightly. Stir.

# – Throw in 3 tablespoon of ketchup. Stir.

# – Throw in 1 tablespoon of salt. Stir.

# – Throw in frozen peas. Stir.

Leave mixture to simmer till everything is pretty soft and the liquid reduced by half. If it’s too dry, add more beer :D During this time, boil some chopped potatoes for making mash. I steamed mine though cause I’m just preppy like that.

# – Mash the potatoes, add some milk, salt & pepper. Throw in some cheese if you’re not on a diet, why not? If you’ve got your own favourite version of mash potato, use it.

# – Pour the beef mixture into a casserole dish.

# – Spread mash potato all over the surface of the beef mixture, making sure there’s no hole in the crust anywhere.

# – Looks good enough to eat but it’s not done yet!

# – Stick it in pre-heated oven for 30 minutes at 190 degrees celcius.

# – After 30 minutes, bring the cottage pie out to rest.

# – Or dig in immediately, like what we did :)

This cottage pie is very juicy and flavourful. There’s no need to make any stock as the liquid is all from the beer. There’s a good kick from the chillies though if you can’t take the heat so well you can always omit the chillies.

# – YUMMMS!

My favourite thing about this dish? It’s a complete meal all in one bowl which means, less washing up! Hehehehe.

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