There are weeks and days that fly through so quickly that I barely have the time to meal plan and take the time to cook something slowly. I do like a simplistic recipe and a fast meal, but sometimes I want to slow down and come back to a dish through the different stages of cooking and see where it’s at and how the flavours have developed. I believe more and more it’s all about planning and organisation because overall making this dish didn’t take much effort, its basically just dicing up a few ingredients and throwing it into a pot then layering it all up in a roasting tray.
I love the focus and attention that goes into a slowly cooked meal…it leaves me feeling refreshed and balanced. And I love this lasagna so much because it uses two cooking techniques that I think bring out so much flavour over the time that it cooks for. Creating the slow cooked lamb sauce is just made from a few great ingredients placed together that creates a rich broth like sauce that is done so by the bone and fat from the lamb shoulder and time…
I’ve been craving this rich lamb ragu sort of sauce – and I like to create varieties of it using extra or special ingredients that make it slightly diverse from each time. Here in this recipe I stripped it back just to a few classic ingredients. Make it your own and add some red wine to the mixture, maybe some other herbs like tarragon or thyme, you can add french eschallots to it and even some dried figs that add a bit of sweetness, add some zucchini to this sauce, or stir through a harira sauce or maybe just some delicious diced up semi dried tomatoes or marinated chilli. Or keep it as is and follow my recipe below! To put it altogether and layer the lasagna choose any lasagna sheets that you like..here i’ve used spelt lasagna sheets that I found in my pantry. For the cheese – I used a mix of freshly grated parmesan and cheddar cheese because thats what was in my fridge, but you can definitely use some mozzarella, ricotta or feta. Whatever you choose mix it in equal parts so that you have a nice balance of cheeses. Something else that I think would work with this lasagna is a pesto sort of mix that can just be added on top, or serve the lasagna with a rocket and fennel salad – anything that freshens it up.
Recipe for Slow Cooked Lamb Lasagna
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: Slow cooked lamb – 3-4 hours | Lasagna – 20 minutes
2 x carrots (diced)
1 x onion (red or white)
2 x garlic cloves (crushed)
2 x bay leaves
1 x sprig of rosemary
1 x small handful of fresh oregano (or 1 tbsp of dry oregano)
1 x lamb shoulder (on the bone) or lamb shoulder de boned and 2 x lamb shanks (or any other suitable cut for slow cooking) – Slice off any large and excess fat, leaving just enough to add flavour
1 x bottle of passata (700g or more)
1 x cup of water
8 x lasagna sheets
3 cups of grated mix cheese (mix together parmesan and cheddar or mozzarella and feta)
Salt + Pepper
Slow cooked lamb
- Place the carrots, onion, garlic, herbs and a large drizzle of olive oil into a large pot and cook on a high heat. Cook and stir the mixture through until the onion is translucent. Add the passata and the water into the pot, season with salt and pepper and mix through well.
- Add the whole lamb shoulder into the passata mixture and cover with a lid. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 3 -4 hours or until you see the lamb can easily be taken off the bone (test it by using a fork or knife).
- Once the slow cooked lamb is ready, remove from the heat and allow to cool so that you can take all the lamb off the bone. Remove the bone and then use a fork or your hands to separate the lamb until its well mixed through the slow cooked sauce. Season with any extra salt or pepper.
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
2. Using a large roasting tray begin to layer and put together the lasagne. Place a large spoon of the lamb mixture onto the base of the pan, place 1 layer of lasagna sheets to cover the lamb sauce, top with a sprinkle of the mixed cheese and repeat the process until you have used up all the of the ingredients. The final layer should be the lasagna sheets, the lamb mixture and the cheese on top.
3. Place the tray into the oven and cook for approximately 20 minutes. Note – check the cooking instructions for the lasagna sheets so that you know specifically how long it takes for them to cook through.