This is a selfish post as it’s not really a recipe, it’s only here as a reminder for me…and of course, you need some of Brock’s amazing smoked brisket on hand.  Lasagna is super simple and actually a really efficient way to use up all kinds of leftovers, especially if you have a food processor (and an Italian store nearby for fresh noodles!) – perhaps this will inspire you to come up with your own? – enjoy!

Smoked Brisket Lasagna

enough fresh lasagna noodles for 3 or 4 noodle layers in a 9 x 13 lasagna pan – about 250 g

1 log (450 g) of fresh mozzarella – sliced for the top

Sauce – this amount could easily be used for 2 lasagnas

1 onion, 3 cloves of garlic, 2 carrots and 2 celery stalks – all put through the food processor

1 t. EACH kosher salt AND freshly ground pepper

1 can (156 mL) tomato paste

1 can (796 mL/28 oz) crushed, fire-roasted tomatoes (+ 1/2 can of water)

1 to 2 lbs. leftover smoked beef brisket, put through the food processor

1 L (or so) regular V-8 juice – you may need more if the sauce is too thick

Saute the vegetable mix in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet for a few minutes and then sprinkle in the salt and pepper and continue to cook until the mix begins to get a little dry.  Add in the tomato paste and cook and stir for a few minutes more until the mix starts to caramelize a touch, then pour in the crushed tomatoes and a half can of water, stir well to combine, then bring it back to a boil.  Add in all of the brisket, stir, and then depending on the consistency (lasagna sauce works best if it’s quite thin), add in some or all of the V-8 juice.  Bring it all back to a simmer and then remove the sauce from the heat and set it aside.  As I mentioned, this should be enough to make 2 lasagnas, I put a big container of sauce in the freezer.

Ricotta Layer

1 onion, 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, 2 bell peppers (red, orange or yellow) – all put through the food processor

1 t. EACH dried rosemary, dried thyme, kosher salt AND freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 to 2 cups full-fat ricotta

2 eggs

In a separate skillet, cook the vegetable mix in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil for 10 to 15 minutes on low until caramelization starts to happens – add a splash of water if things get too dry.  As this is cooking, add in the 4 spices and continue to monitor until you have a lightly browned, full flavored vegetable paste.  Set this aside and allow it to cool for a bit (I actually made this the day before, and while I had my food processor out, I did the other vegetables and brisket too).

In a medium bowl, combine the vegetable ‘paste’, ricotta and eggs and set this aside as well until you’re ready to put together your lasagna.

Assembly

Lightly oil your favorite deep-dish 9 x 13 lasagna pan, and set this on a large, parchment lined baking sheet.  Preheat the oven to 400 and have all of lasagna ‘parts’ ready to go.  Here’s how I layered mine, from the bottom to the top;

thin layer of sauce, then a layer of overlapping noodles

thin layer of sauce, then all of the ricotta mix evenly spread out

thin layer of sauce, then a layer of overlapping noodles

thin layer of sauce, then a layer of overlapping noodles

here I took a sharp knife and poked the whole lasagna several times to make sure the steam could escape through the noodle layers

thin layer of sauce, fresh slices of mozzarella evenly spread out

Bake for about 45 minutes, but check it at 30 minutes – you may need to place a piece of foil over the top in case your cheese gets too brown.  Allow the lasagna to rest for about 20 minutes and then it should be easy to dish up in ooey gooey slices.

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