Rabbit ragù lasagne
- June 2018
- Serves 6-8
- Hands-on time 1 hour 10 min, oven time 35-40 min
We’ve used rabbit in the rich ragû for its deep, gamey flavour, which stands up well next to the grana padano béchamel and intense, tomato sauce.
We also have a lovely slow-cooked rabbit stew, which you can make in one pot.
- 22.9g (1.9g saturated)
- 34.5g (11.5g sugars)
- 250g fresh lasagne sheets
For the ragù
- Olive oil for frying
- 100g smoked bacon lardons
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- 3 carrots, finely diced
- 2 celery sticks, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 500g rabbit mince (ask your butcher; or use mixed game, beef mince or turkey thigh mince)
- 200ml red wine
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 150ml whole milk
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano
- Small bunch fresh basil, leaves picked
For the béchamel
- 850ml whole milk
- 6 cloves
- 2 mace blades
- 2 bay leaves
- 60g unsalted butter
- 60g plain flour
- 80g grana padano cheese, grated
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- Heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan over a medium-high heat, then fry the lardons for 2-3 minutes until crisp. Transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon.
- Put the onion, carrots and celery in the same frying pan with a pinch of salt and pepper, then fry gently for 10 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more. Add the rabbit mince and brown for 4-5 minutes, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Add the wine and bubble for 5 minutes, then stir in the Worcestershire sauce, tomato purée, milk and chopped tomatoes. Cook for 30 minutes over a low-medium heat until thickened. Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper, then stir in the lardons, oregano and most of the basil.
- For the béchamel sauce, pour the milk into a saucepan and add the cloves, mace and bay leaves. Gently heat until the milk is steaming. Turn off the heat, strain the milk and set aside (discard flavourings).
- Melt the butter in a medium heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Add the flour and stir constantly for 3-4 minutes until it starts to smell biscuitty. Slowly whisk in the warm milk, then cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon until thickened. Remove from the heat, stir in 20g of the grana padano and the grated nutmeg, then season well with salt and pepper. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.
- To assemble, spread a little ragù over the base of a 2 litre baking dish, then cover with slightly overlapping lasagne sheets. Pour over a third of the béchamel, sprinkle with a little grana padano and top with half the ragù. Cover with another layer of lasagne, half the remaining béchamel, then the rest of the ragù. Add the final layer of pasta, then the rest of the béchamel and grana padano. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden. Serve garnished with the remaining basil.
Assemble the lasagne, cover and chill for 24 hours, or freeze for 1 month wrapped in cling film and foil. Bake from frozen for 1 hour.
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