Saturday, 9 April 2016

Pork & leek lasagne with lighter cheese sauce

Lasagne is a favourite around here, but I can't deny that 'proper' (white sauce-based) cheese sauce is a bit heavy and rich at times. This recipe tries out a variation using cottage cheese. It's not a substitute, as in nobody would confuse the two, but it's a decent variation.

700g pork shoulder steaks, chopped into small pieces (I prefer this to mince)
2 red onions, chopped
2 leeks, finely chopped
200-300g mushrooms, finely chopped
stock cube (I used Knorr ham)
dried thyme, sage, and freshly ground black pepper
splash of balsamic vinegar
splash of oil

500g plain cottage cheese (I used full fat)
2 eggs, separated

To construct:
lasagne sheets
50g grated cheese

Cook the onion gently in the oil with the balsamic until translucent. Add the leeks and mushrooms, cook for a few minutes, then add the stock. Cook down until just softening.

Meanwhile, brown the pork in a separate pan, with the thyme and sage and black pepper. Once browned, combine with the vegetable mix, adding any juices.

Blend the cottage cheese with the egg yolks until smooth. Whisk the whites and fold them in (souffle style).

Construct the lasagne as you like (for me this made 3 layers of filling-pasta-sauce, with cheese on top). Cook at 160 for 30-40 minutes.

Verdict - pretty tasty. I will investigate ramping up the flavour of the cheese sauce, perhaps some mustard would give it a punch. I'd also consider separating the veg from the inevitable juices, and then thickening them separately with some cornflour before adding back.

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