Thursday, 15 June 2017

Short Rib and Bechamel Lasagna

According to my family I am not allowed to make any other lasagna other than this one. They gave this rave reviews! I got the recipe after watching a cooking show called "Simply Laura". This lasagna is creamy rich and cheesy. It would be perfect on a cold winters night, served with a light and fresh salad to cut the richness. Use a deep dish lasagna pan and make sure you remove as much of the residual fat out of the sauce as possible after the ribs are cooked.
I made a vegetable lasagna the other day and my family was all up in arms as they couldn't imagine eating lasagna without meat and furthermore eating any other lasagna except this one but to their surprise they loved the vegetable one a lot too, but not as much as this one. I will be posting it soon!

Braised Short Ribs:

1/4 cup vegetable oil
8 short ribs (approximately 4 pounds total), 3-by-2-inch pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
8 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
3 large carrots, peeled and diced (about 1 1/4 cups)
3 stalks celery, diced (about 1 cup)
1 large onion, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
4 tablespoons tomato paste
Two 3-inch sprigs rosemary
2 cups beef broth
1 1/2 cups red wine, preferably Merlot

White Sauce:

6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups grated Italian cheese blend (mozzarella, provolone and Parmesan) I made my own blend as freshly grated cheese is so much better than packaged store bought grated cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan


Butter, softened, for buttering the lasagna pan
1 pound no-boil lasagna noodles
3 ½ cups Italian cheese blend (mozzarella, provolone and Parmesan)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Special equipment: a 9-by-13-by-3 -inch glass lasagna pan with handles. You need a deep dish pan.

For the braised short ribs: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

In a Dutch oven, add the oil and heat it over medium-high heat. Season both sides of the short ribs with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper, then place them in the hot pot and cook them until brown and crispy, about 3 minutes on each side; work in batches so you don't overcrowd the pot. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the oil left in the pot, then add the bacon and cook until crispy, about 4 to 5 minutes; remove to a plate. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of fat. Add the garlic, carrots, celery and onions and saute until softened and the veggies develop some color, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 more minute. Add the rosemary, beef broth and wine and put the short ribs and bacon back in, submerging them in the liquid. Cover the pot and pop it in the oven until the meat is tender and easily shredded, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Take the short ribs out of the pot and cool them enough so you can handle them. (Keep the oven on.) Skim off as much fat as possible from the sauce, adjust the seasoning to taste and discard the rosemary sprigs.

Using your fingers, shred the short ribs and put the meat back in the pot with the sauce. Set aside.

For the white sauce: In a large saucepan, add the butter and melt it over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes. Add the milk, and cook the sauce until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, stirring occasionally,approximately 9 minutes. Season with the nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir in the shredded cheeses and Parmigiana, and take it off the heat.

For the lasagna: Butter a 9-inch-by-13-inch deep dish glass baking pan.

Ladle about 1/2 cup of the white sauce in the bottom of the baking dish, then lay 4 lasagna noodles in the bottom of the dish, overlapping a little. Spoon over a couple ladles of the meat sauce followed by 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese mixture and a good sprinkle of Parmigiano. Layer noodles on top. Continue this process until you end up with the noodles being the very top; cover them with the remaining white sauce. It will look like a lot, but don't worry the lasagna noodles will absorb any liquid and the lasagna will compress as it cooks in the oven.

Cover the lasagna with some aluminium foil and bake for about 1 hour. Uncover, sprinkle over the remaining 1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese blend and the remaining grated Parmigiana. Bake, uncovered, until golden brown and bubbly on top, another 20 minutes. Allow to cool 30 minutes before serving.

Print Recipe:Short Rib and Bechamel Lasagna
Season the ribs. 

Brown the ribs on all sides.

Cook in batches and remove to a pan.

Discard all but one tablespoon of oil/fat from the pan and cook bacon until crispy. 

Remove to a bowl.

Discard all but two tablespoons of fat or add oil if needed. Add garlic, carrots, celery, onions and saute until the vegetables develop some colour. 

Stir in tomato paste, cook for one minute.

Add broth, rosemary and wine.

Add the beef ribs and bacon back into the pot. Cover and cook for about 21/2-3 hours in 375 degree oven. 

Once the ribs are nice and tender and the meat shreds easily, remove from oven.

Add caption

Shred the meat.

Before adding the meat back to the vegetables remove any visible fat. Add the shredded meat back to the pot.
Make white sauce. This is the only picture I have I must of got distracted.

In a buttered pan spread about 1/2-3/4 Cup white sauce all over pan.

Use oven ready noodles. I got these from the Italian centre.

Place four noodles over the sauce

Spread some meat sauce over the noodles.

Sprinkle the cheese over meat sauce.

Cover with noodles. I used six on this layer. Continue the process.

Finish with a layer of noodles and top with remaining white sauce. Cover the lasagna with aluminium foil. Bake in 375 degree oven for about 1 hour.

After 1 hour sprinkle the remaining cheese and bake uncovered until golden brown.

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