Lasagna

Lasagna

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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My all time favourite food… LASAGNA!

MMMMM. I could literally eat lasagna everyday for the rest of my life. It’s by far my favourite food, so much so that I even had the nickname Garfield once. The options are endless in terms of the flavour profile you choose to go for, so I’m sure this won’t be my one and only lasagna recipe.

A couple years ago, my partner and I went on a trip to France and Italy. It was my mission to find the best lasagna. I wasn’t planning on getting it in France, but one random evening, in a random restaurant I placed my order. It was the BEST of the trip. I still remember it to this day. And that beats out each of the 4-5 lasagnas I tried while we were in Italy.

Lasagna

It’s all about the layers…

I love all lasagna, especially my mom’s. She used to always make it for me when I’d come home after weeks or months away. While this recipe is pretty close to my mom’s, I have made a few changes.

Lasagna

Lasagna

Lasagna noodles layered with ground beef with veggies, mozzarella, ricotta cheese and baked to perfection.
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian

Equipment

  • 12 x 16 inch pan
  • Large pan

Ingredients
  

  • 450 g lasagna noodles cooked as per packet instructions
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper diced
  • 100 g white mushrooms chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 small zucchini chopped
  • 375 g ground beef extra lean
  • 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 650 ml Primo sauce I used thick and zesty herb and garlic
  • 454 g ricotta
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • cup mozzarella grate
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Cook lasagna noodles in salted water until al dente, as per packet instructions. Set aside once done.
  • In a large pan, on medium-high heat, add olive oil. Wait til hot and sauté onion for 2 minutes. Next, add garlic, salt and pepper and continue to sauté for 1 minute. Add in the ground beef and Italian seasoning and cook for approximately 8 minutes or until beef has browned.
  • Once browned, turn down to medium-low heat. Add chopped red pepper and zucchini and cook for 2 minutes. Next, add mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Turn down to low heat, add the Primo sauce and parmesan cheese. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Now it's time to assemble your lasagna. Preheat your oven to 375°F. Start with some sauce on the bottom of your pan, then lasagna noodles, mozzarella, beef, ricotta, noodles, repeat. There will be 3 layers of noodles. On top of the last layer, top with sauce and mozzarella. Cover with tin foil and bake for 25 minutes.
  • Rest for 10-15 minutes and serve!
Keyword lasagna

Sheppard's Pie

Sheppard’s Pie

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
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Not your traditional Sheppard’s Pie…

Traditionally, sheppard’s pie is made with lamb but to be honest, I only found that out a few years ago! My mom has always made her sheppard’s pie with ground beef, so that’s what I’m used to. This dish is so easy to throw together and you basically have a full meal in one go. Delicious beef in a savory gravy with peas, corn and carrots topped with a creamy mashed potato makes for a scrumptious sheppard’s pie.

Sheppard's Pie

How to make it

This dish is the perfect Sunday meal. Serve alone or with a side salad and you’ll be sure to please all!

Start off by boiling your peeled russet potatoes, or your potato of choice, in salted water until tender. Mash your potatoes until you reach your desired consistency. Next, prep your meat mixture by sauteing the onion and garlic and then adding the meat to brown. Once your meat is cooked, drain any excess grease and add your peas, carrots and corn. Now, you can assemble your pie! Add in the meat mixture and your choice of gravy. Stir in the gravy until well combined and then top with your mashed potatoes. For aesthetic purposes, take a fork and score the top of your pie in whatever pattern you choose! Bake the pie to bring it all together but be sure you let it rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Variations:

Instead of beef, you can use ground lamb for a much more traditional sheppard’s pie.

Feel free to use whatever gravy you have on hand or your favourite brand. This time I used a packet of poutine gravy and it was amazing!

Sheppard's Pie

Sheppard’s Pie

Not your traditional pie, but this beef sheppard's pie is a meal all in one!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Main Course

Equipment

  • Medium pot
  • Large pan
  • 12 x 16 pan

Ingredients
  

  • 1.5 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic diced
  • 5 medium russet potatoes peeled
  • 42 g gravy packet cook as per instructions
  • 398 ml can of peas and carrots drained
  • 398 ml can of corn drained
  • splash milk
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Peel and quarter the russet potatoes and place in salted water in a medium pot and cook over high heat. Once water starts boiling, turn down to medium-high heat and cook for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  • In the meantime, sauté the onions for 1 minute. Add the garlic, salt and pepper, and sauté for an additional minute. Next, add the ground lean beef and cook until browned for about 8 minutes. Once cooked, drain any excess grease. Add the peas, carrots and corn.
  • Returning to the potatoes, drain and mash them in the pot. Add salt and pepper, butter and a splash of milk and mash until your reach a smooth, creamy mashed potato consistency.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. To assemble your pie, add the beef mixture and gravy to a 12 x 16 pan and mix until well combined. Top the mixture with mashed potato and spread evenly over the top. Using a fork, score the top of the potatoes. Bake for 10 minutes. Next, switch to a high broil and broil for approximately 8 minutes or until potatoes start to brown lightly on the top.
  • Let the pie rest for at least 10 minutes and you're ready to serve!
Keyword beef pie, pie, Sheppard’s Pie

Classic Beef Burger

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
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Spring is officially here in Southwestern Ontario, so that means BBQ season is about to ramp up in my household. I love grilling season because there’s just something about cooking outside over the grill or fire that makes food taste better in my opinion. Whether you’re grilling veggies, meat or fruit (yes, fruit!) there’s one staple recipe everyone should have at their fingertips, a good ol’ classic beef burger.

Dressing a classic beef burger with some classic condiments.

This simple and juicy classic beef burger is super easy to make and definitely beats out the box of frozen burgers you’d buy at the grocery store. All you have to do is combine all the ingredients listed below, form some patties and throw them on the grill. Don’t have a BBQ? Don’t worry! You can still make these on your stove top using a grill pan or a regular pan.

A classic beef burger dressed with bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onion and pickles.

Toppings!

So many toppings to choose from, so this is where you can build the perfect burger based on your taste buds. I decided make a classic bacon cheeseburger (pictured above) topping it with mayo, mustard, ketchup, sliced red onion, pickles, tomatoes and lettuce. The opportunities are endless!

Beef Burger

A tasty, juicy classic beef burger. Perfect for those summer nights on the grill.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 patties

Equipment

  • BBQ (or stove grill top and/or pan)
  • Large bowl

Ingredients
  

  • 1.5 lbs ground beef
  • 1 med yellow onion very finely diced, I personally use a hand held food processor.
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp BBQ sauce
  • 6 buns
  • toppings of your choosing

Instructions
 

  • Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
  • Preheat BBQ to 450°F
  • Make patties to the size of your liking, but remember that they will shrink a bit once cooked. I made 6 patties out of the beef mixture.
  • BBQ on each side for about 4-5 minutes, (this depends on the thickness of your burger).
  • Toast your bun and top the burger with your preferred toppings.

Notes

Personally I like using a hand held food processor to dice the onion and garlic until very finely diced, to an almost paste like texture.
How do you know when your burger is done? Brown meat and grill marks on both sides of your burger patty give a pretty good indication that your burger is done. You don’t want to leave it on too long otherwise it’ll dry out, so if you want to be extra sure don’t be afraid to slice into the middle of a patty to check if it’s done. It’s also very common in Europe to eat burger’s that are medium to medium-well done, so don’t be afraid if it’s a little pink. That being said, a little bit of pink is okay, but too much and you can get sick. Particularly if you’re not used to eating rare meat. 
Keyword beef burger, beef,, burger, classic burger, classic hamburger, hamburger