Start by making the
meat sauce. In a large pot, fry the minced beef until browned. Remove from the
pan and set aside.
In the same pot, fry
the onions, carrots, celery and garlic until soft and fragrant. Add the bay
leaves. Add the minced beef back into the pot and add the tomatoes, tomato
paste, beef stock, herbs and sugar. Allow to come to simmering point and turn
the heat down.
Place the lid on the
pot and allow to simmer gently for 30 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to
180°c and grease an oven proof dish (make sure it’s big enough).
To make the béchamel,
gently melt the butter in a saucepan ensuring it doesn’t change colour. Stir in
the flour until a glossy paste is formed.
Slowly pour in the
warm milk. Only pour in a few tablespoons at a time and make sure that it’s
well incorporated before adding again. When half of the milk has been
incorporated, switch to a balloon whisk and add larger amount of the milk
whilst whisking. The sauce should be thick and smooth.
Remove the saucepan
from the heat and stir in the spices and cheese. Season to taste. At this
point, also check the seasoning of the meat sauce and adjust.
To assemble the pastitsio,
combine the cooked pasta with just over half of the Béchamel sauce.
half of the pasta to your prepared oven dish.
Next, pour over all of
the meat sauce and smooth out. Follow with the rest of the pasta and finally
the remaining of the Béchamel sauce.
Place the assembled pastitsio
into the pre-heated oven and allow to bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown
Remove the pastitsio
from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving with a mixed salad
and crusty bread.
permission of Simply Delicious.
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