I’m a big Mexican food fan, but it’s quite hard to come by if you’re eating out. But with a fussy OH (he’ll not eat indian, chinese, thai, risotto), I tend to stick to fajitas which he and N will eat. Well, N eats a wrap with cheese in, chicken on the side, raw peppers and no sour cream or guacamole. I’m hoping he’ll get more with the standard fajita programme if I keep feeding it to him enough. But I spotted a Mexican lasagne recipe, and having tried using pancakes for veggie lasagne before, I thought a Mexican one could be worth trying.
Strictly speaking I should probably have used chunks of meat – either beef or chicken, but I decided to go for beef mince instead. That way, it would keep its shape better and be more like a traditional lasagne. The recipe I saw was a quick cheats version, but I did everything from scratch including using my microwave cheese sauce (just doubling the amount to suit the size of my lasagne).
Adding the usual pepper strips and sliced onion to the mince, gave it some flavour. Then I used a fajita sachet that I’d had knocking around for a while. After going off the ready-made sauces when they made them too barbecue flavoured, I usually I use fajita seasoning in a jar. The sachet was hit and miss how much seasoning to put in, but I’d recommend using your usual fajita seasoning, then you’ll know how much to put in for your family or friends. Ideally use some passata or chopped tomatoes as you’d normally do with mince but I had some salsa that needed using up so used that along with fresh chopped tomatoes that were a bit overripe. I’m all for using whatever you have around the house to avoid wasting it.
While you can cook your mince the usual way on the hob, ie browning off the mince, cooking off the onions and peppers, add the tomatoes and seasoning then leave it to simmer gently in a covered pan for 45 mins. I much prefer browning mince off, bringing it up to bubbling then putting it in the bottom of the aga or on low in the oven for a few hours. An alternative if you want to go out is the slow cooker. Just make sure you’ve enough liquid for it not to dry out. It means the meat breaks down better and is more tender to eat. Delicious.
Then it’s simply a case of layering up the lasagne in a suitable sized baking dish. I used a rectangular one which meant cutting the tortillas to fit. But you could make mini individual ones in small circular oven proof dishes/bowls and cut circles out of the tortillas.
- 500 g minced beef
- 1 red onion diced
- 2 peppers, any colour diced
- 1 pack flour or corn tortillas slightly toasted
- 400 g chopped tomatoes / passata / fresh tomatoes
- 400 g cheese sauce
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 1 pack fajita seasoning (or jar seasoning to taste)
- 30 g pack of tortilla crisps broken up
- 1 handful cheddar, grated
- sour cream
- 2 spring onions
Brown the mince in a little oil a frying pan
Add the onions, garlic and peppers and cook through til the onions are transparent
Add the tomatoes and fajita seasoning and let it bubble. If it's a little dry, add some water
Either cover the pan, turn down the heat and simmer for 45 minutes on the hob. Alternatively, cover and simmer in the bottom of the oven at around 150C or simmer in a slow cook on low for however long your slow cooker needs.
If not using ready-made cheese sauce, make the sauce. Mine's an easy microwave cheese sauce)
Once the mince is cooked, layer up the lasagne. Start with mince, then tortilla, then cheese sauce, repeat until finishing with cheese sauce.
Top with the broken tortilla crisps if using, then the grated cheese
Bake in the oven at around 200C until the cheese on top melts
Serve with spring onions sprinkled on top, and with dollops of guacamole and source cream on the side.
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