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Braised Beef Cheek & Bay Lasagne recipe

This recipe, by Charlotte Binns-McDonald, was found in this month’s Delicious magazine

4 x 300g beef cheeks, trimmed

1 cup plain flour, seasoned

¼ cup olive oil

2 red onions, chopped

4 garlic cloves, crushed

2 thyme sprigs, leaves picked

1 cup red wine

1/3 cup tomato paste

400g can chopped tomatoes

½ tsp red wine vinegar

3 cups grated mozzarella

4 fresh lasagne sheets

BAY LEAF BECHAMEL

1L milk

1 onion, quartered

4 bay leaves

50g unsalted butter

1/3 cup plain flour

Preheat oven to 150C. Toss beef in seasoned flour, shake off excess. Heat half the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish with a lid over medium high heat. Add beef, in batches if necessary, & cook for 2 minutes each side or until browned. Remove from dish & set aside. In the same dish heat remaining oil over medium high heat. Add onion, garlic, thyme & 1 tbs wine. Cook scraping base f dish for 1 minute then reduce heat to medium & cover with the lid. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until onion is soft. Return beef to casserole. Increase heat to high & add tomato paste. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until paste has darkened. Add tomato, vinegar & remaining wine. Bring to the boil then transfer to oven.

Roast covered for 3 hours or until beef is very tender then increase oven temp to 200C & remove lid. Roast for a further 35 minutes until liquid has reduced slightly. Remove beef & shred using 2 forks. Place in a bowl with 1 cup braising liquid. Cover & refrigerate until needed (up to 2 days). Meanwhile, for bechamel, place milk, onion & bay in a pan over medium high heat & bring to just below boiling. Remove from heat & set aside for 15 mins to infuse. Melt butter in a separate pan over medium low heat. Add flour & cook, stirring, for 2 mins or until thickened. Strain milk through a sieve into a jug, discarding solids. Gradually whisk into butter mixture until smooth. Reduce heat to low & cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until thickened. Reduce oven temp to 180C. Grease a 2.5L capacity baking dish. Spoon half the beef mixture into the prepared dish. Spread with one third bechamel, then top with one third the mozzarella. Cover with half the pasta. Repeat layering finishing with a layer of bechamel & mozzarella. Grease a piece of baking paper & use to cover the dish. Cover tightly with foil & bake for 45 min. Uncover & bake for a further 10 min until bubbling. Preheat oven grill to high. Grill lasagne for 2 mins or until golden. Enjoy!

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