Slow Cooked Lasagne


I don’t think it would be too presumptuous of me to suggest that Lasagne would feature pretty high on the list of favourite comfort foods (here in Australia at least anyway).  As children, we would get asked “what’s your favourite food"?  The answer would be lasagne - EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.  We would be ecstatic to hear mum was making lasagne for dinner, and quite honestly, still get excited when mum makes her lasagne.   Mum always snuck vegetables into hers (as so many mums do, because, kids…), I also have my veggie packed version, but the one I’m sharing with you here is my “grown up” version, sans all the hidden vegetables.  It’s rich and slow and absolutely has to have mushrooms and red wine in it.  I also may or may not go a tad overboard with cheese, but I find lasagnes which skimp on the cheese offensive, just saying!

Begin this one at least 4 hours ahead.


Mel xoxo




Slow Cooked Lasagne

serves 8-10





1 tbs olive oil

1 brown onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp fennel seeds, roughly crushed

1 tbs fresh thyme leaves

1 tbs fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped

1 tbs fresh sage leaves, finely chopped

2 rashers smokey bacon 

400g mushrooms, sliced

1kg beef mince

1/2 tsp each salt and pepper

250ml full bodied red wine

125ml milk

3 tbs Worcestershire sauce

3 tbs tomato paste

800g tinned tomato

125ml water

375g lasagne sheets (I used dried instant, however, fresh is lovely too)

70g mozzarella cheese, grated

40g parmesan cheese, grated


Cheese Sauce

75g butter, unsalted

45g plain flour

1L full cream milk

100g parmesan cheese, grated

50g mozzarella cheese, grated

salt and pepper



70g mozzarella cheese, grated

40g parmesan cheese, grated

handful of fresh sage leaves (optional)




Preheat the oven to 150C.

Heat a heavy based, oven proof casserole dish (with a lid), on medium heat on the stove.  Add olive oil and sauté onions and garlic until softened.  Add the fennel seeds, herbs and bacon and cook until the bacon starts to colour.  Increase the heat to medium-high and add the mushrooms.  Cook until the mushrooms are soft and any liquid has evaporated.  Add the beef, salt and pepper, making sure to break up the mince so there are no large chunks.  Once the meat has browned, add the wine and continue cooking until the wine has reduced by half.  Add the milk and reduce the heat to a simmer.  Continue cooking for around 8 minutes and then add the Worcestershire, tomato paste, tinned tomatoes and water.   Bring to the boil, put the lid on the dish and transfer it to the oven.  Cook for 2 hours with the lid on, then lower the oven temperature to 120C and cook for a further 30 mins with the lid off.

To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute until a smooth paste forms.  Gradually whisk in the milk and cook, stirring, for around 8-10 minutes or until thickened.  Remove from the heat and add the cheeses, salt and pepper and stir until smooth.  Set aside to cool slightly (it will also thicken on standing).

Preheat oven to 170C and grease a large baking dish.  Cover the bottom with a single layer of lasagne sheets and then spread a third of the beef mixture over them.  Drizzle approx 1/2 cup of cheese sauce over the beef.  Repeat with remaining ingredients, finishing with the rest of the cheese sauce.  Sprinkle with the grated parmesan, mozzarella and sage leaves (if using) and bake for 40-45 mins until golden.  Allow to cool and ‘set’ for at least 30 mins before serving.  


Mel Amos