11 Chef Skills I Learned Making Fresh Lasagna…
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11 Chef Skills I Learned Making Fresh Lasagna…


Hey guys, salut, it’s Alex. So you know that I recently bought and hacked a pasta machine. A heavy duty pasta machine straight from a factory in China. Of course I have been using that machine to make a few ramen. But also I’ve been trying, without too much success I’m afraid, to come up with a different recipe, and yesterday, at the supermarket, I had an illumination! I just saw this. This is fresh pasta per la lasagne. Which is odd because I’ve always been using dry pasta to make lasagne. Of course, lasagne! How could I have missed it in the first place? Everybody loves it. But it’s also like the perfect excuse just to step up your chef game to the next level. Like, not this level, like this level! So, without further ado, let’s just dive straight into it. In French we call this onion, carrots and celery combination ‘mirepoix’. I believe in Italy they call it ‘soffritto’. But it’s always the same purpose: to bring a solid base of flavour to any dish, whether it be a soup, a stew, or a sauce. And that is your very first chef skill. Number One is mirepoix. also known as ‘sof’… two f’s, one f? two f’s! So I just got this from a lovely subscriber, thank you man! Super light! So mirepoix, and that’s your second skill, is also the name of this cutting technique, in which you are aiming at making those one centimetre cubes. Next starts the actual cooking game because we need to make a solid tomato sauce. When it’s nice and hot, add a good drizzle of olive oil and a knob of butter. The sizzling part is always the best! So in we go with meat. I’ve got some beef and some pork. The idea is just to mix the meat between the body from the beef and the fat from the pork. And so starts another chef technique: the caramelisation process. And, in technical terms, it’s called the Maillard reaction. “My-yarrr!” Not “my-yard!” I mean the more you know. I’m just going to remove a bit of oil. Because, basically, you don’t want the food to deep fry, you want it to seal. Ah, voila! Mon ami, voila! That is the Maillard reaction. The meat is still browning over there. I just want to take this opportunity to pass on the most boring super important! boring chef’s skill to you, which is health and safety. Whenever you handle meat, you need to wash your hands thoroughly. Spoiler alert! My hands are already clean. Still, let’s pretend. One. Two. Three. Four. Five Vegetables. Two cloves of garlic. Ah, putain! I can’t find any white wine, so I’m going to use sake instead. It’s the same. It’s a dry white wine. New chef skills in … 3 … 2 … 1 … deglazing. The main idea here is just to unstick those caramelised bits from the bottom of the pan and to incorporate them in the sauce. Next step, a can of peeled tomatoes, plus another can of water. So now you want to lower the heat. Right so, while it’s cooking over there, let me show you another chef skill. Take a few bay leaves and you pair them with a bunch of thyme. and you just tie them together. This is called a bouquet garni. It’s supposed to infuse, a bit like tea, within our sauce over there. It is the very minimal version, the cheap version, if you want. You can add rosemary, parsley, make it your own. Bunch of herbs. Finally, put a lid on it. Let it cook for about two hours at least, four hours would be best. I’m gonna set this at the end of my studio just because it’s too noisy not because it doesn’t smell good. It smells very good. Next time to make pasta. Well I can’t just not use it. The traditional lasagna bolognese is made with green pasta which colour usually comes from spinach. I’m gonna leave them out I know Italian people are going to be pissed off but at least now they have a valid reason to be. So this is about 400 grams of flour to which I’m going to add four eggs. Super easy: one egg per 100 grams of flour. A good pinch of salt, and a touch of olive oil. [BELL] And that is, I believe, our chef skill number seven. Cooking should be done by now. I know I’m a bit of an actor, but still. Have you seen inside? It’s amazing! Because it’s all confit. It’s all caramelised. All those beautiful ingredients just became one. Well I believe this our chef skill number eight right there. A tomato sauce. One of the five mother sauces of the French cuisine. And, by the way, also an Italian sauce. Next the second sauce of the lasagna bolognese A white sauce, known as béchamel. In a sauce pan goes a hundred grams of butter. Medium heat. A hundred grams of flour. Before you know, this is chef skill number nine. Basically that one part flour, one part butter mixture is called a roux. And it’s a the base of any thickened food in the kitchen like stews, soup, or sauces. Like us. Never leave your workstation. And then one litre whole milk. And now I’m seriously wondering why I did pick one of the smallest saucepans. Grate in a bit of nutmeg. Not much but, you know, probably a fifth of this. Salt and pepper. To know if your Béchamel sauce has the right consistency Take the spatula or spoon out of it and then, if you get this Red Sea effect then the sauce is ready. Soft, buttery. That sauce is at the heart of so many dishes. So I guess it’s a chef skill. Fresh pasta, white sauce, red sauce. Time to assemble the dish. Ideally, if we were living in a perfect world, I would have a square dish. I can’t do this. It makes no sense. Ok, anyway, I’m going to use this one instead, I know it’s too big. This one is too big now. I need like… I got an idea! Ta da! That is my ugly but practical solution to a real life problem. Let’s start again. White sauce. Nice. Et, voila. The red. And parmesan cheese. Yum. That sauce is mega good. And the last layer. I’m just going to add a final layer of aluminium foil on top. Not that it’s lacking any others. In the oven it goes at 180 Celsius or 360 Fahrenheit for about forty minutes, up to an hour, because it’s a big boy, this one. Ok, I’m not going to write for you that lasagna dish on this chef skills list because I don’t think thats something you can reuse in another situation in the kitchen. However, I think we earned a new one. Adapt! In the kitchen you will encounter loads and loads of problematic or difficult situations which you need to overcome one way or another. This is not one of them, but, adapt. Whoo! Un. Deux. You’ve got the softness from the fresh pasta. You’ve got the creaminess, a consequence of using white sauce. The bite. The body. The bold caramelised flavour from the tomato sauce. A very delicate crisp from the parmesan cheese on top. So I guess I love everything about that dish both from a tasting point of view, well it’s absolutely stunning, but also from a cook’s point of view where I think it’s brilliant if you want to get better in the kitchen and that’s everything that this channel is all about. So lasagna, Alex … BFF for life. No, it’s best… I hope you enjoyed that recipe. If you did then please give this video a big thumbs up, like it and share it over all your social media. You know how it works. And last, people, click subscribe ‘cos I make new videos every week. You know it’s always about the food. It’s about making food more inspirational. Anyway, take care, bye bye, salut!

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100 thoughts on “11 Chef Skills I Learned Making Fresh Lasagna…

  1. I'm so glad I watched this. Another video said to boil the pasta first. It would've been way too soft and would've taken even longer [5 hrs, but I'm an extremely slow cook]. I didn't use the recipe, just the technique, but it came out just right. Thanks.

  2. Just because it's cheap you shouldn't use that much aluminium foil just for making one bowl of food. I guess it's at time we should start thinking about the environment in the kitchen. The kitchen is such a big one.

  3. For the ragù alla bolognese you have to cook the soffritto first, THEN put the meat in… the basics please…aaaaand we Italians don't put any herbs in the sauce, if you want basil is ok but nothing else. Then you put too much besciamella… aaand the pasta is too thic…but NICE TRY 😉

  4. pls dont cook stuff in poisonous aluminium foil

    i know its practical but pls stop using aluminium foil when you heat it alongside with the food you eat

  5. you boiled that mince. or ground up meat as the stupid yanks call it. by adding to much mince at once, do bit by bit, this browns caramelizes the beef and gives it better flavour…

  6. Alex, have you ever considered cooking anything Cajun? I grew up in Louisiana (South of New Orleans) and love to cook (especially Cajun food). I love your channel and would love to see your take on my culture (we are also French, so ya know). Great work on all of the videos man!

  7. Learn italian magic, Do the soffritto, remove it, do not clean the pan, brown the meat, add the soffritto again, deglaze. Because every people can mix for example milk and coffee, but only italian magic gives you foaming cappuccino. Order DOES matter. Process DOES matter.

  8. a mire poix is the name of usually the base in alot of stocks, sauces ect. it isn't that cut, the cut you demonstrated there is a brunoise. i personally cut my mire poix with s paysanne cut and i also know this video is already a year old but love your work keep it up !!!!

  9. Question! A) Would you ever adding Tomato Paste before de-lazing for a deeper flavor?
    B) Would you consider adding 1/2 an onion poked with clou de girofle in warm milk for the Béchamel?

  10. Randy Wagstaff and Dukie are not impressed by your kitchen, or your lasagna. I've watched a few of your vids but just noticed the wall print

  11. Omg, Alex u killed me, I’m here sitting at home starving because I haven’t went to the store for groceries.

  12. This in NOT the REAL italian lasagna, i'm italian from bologna and i can do the real lasagna bolognese

  13. Fresh pasta and mirepoix in lasagna. That's interesting. Also, probably in US it would be ricotta cheese instead of bechamel.

  14. Just add more meat, this is the best recipe for this dish. Cooking it for those 4 hours is amazing. I've perfected it

  15. Hi i enjoi your cooking style i want to help you out getting better in doing bechamel first flavor the milk with withe vegetables that means cook the milk first with the vegetables then leave it 10 minits juse the hot milk first take 1/3 then wen its thig put the rest in you will be faster so its easyer not to burn it (( im not good in writing but in cooking)) ty for doing nice videos

  16. Wow. As an American, we always use ricotta cheese for the “white sauce.” One store container with one egg mixed in. This seems delicious! Sadly, I don’t cook things this big.

  17. i laughed so hard at " the italians are gonne be pissed off but now they have a valid reason to be!! "" 😀

  18. I'm from Italy and i've been a chef for almost 20 year now. Never ever made lasagna with spinach pasta. Just saying.

  19. Hello, I advise get a smaller tray next time, the contact of highly acidic tomato and wine sauce with aluminium foil dissolves the foil into the sauce. Especially when cooking for a long time and at elevated temperatures. Probably doesn't affect the taste much, but would be concerned about health effects.

  20. I wanted to crawl through my screen to get at that lasagna, it looked fantastic. Great videos and great entertainment.

  21. It's official, you just replaced Chef John over at food wishes ad my new Favorite chef. Curious how you improve Gordo's Beef Wellington….

  22. Alex, what you are doing at 9:18 is a BIG no no .. the worst thing you can do as the aluminum will leech into the food being cooked on it and whoever does that will over time develop altzheimer's. Aluminum is a soft metal and goes straight to the brain when heated food interacts with it ..

  23. I’m calling on all my American compatriots. Make the Bechamel. It is soooooo much tastier than the way we learned to make lasagna.
    I made loads of it for my Peruvian family (NOT a lasagna culture for sure), they begged for more.
    Job well done.

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