1. Chop up yellow onion, carrot, celery and garlic until fine.
You can do it manually or put it through a food processor to speed things up
2. Heat oil in a pot and sauté chopped vegetables until soft and brown.
Do this with medium low heat to get the veggies properly caramelised
3. Add in minced beef and break it up into small pieces. Cook until the juices dry up and the beef starts to brown slightly. Season with ½ tsp. salt and ½ tsp. pepper.
Browning the mince gives a great depth of flavour to the dish
4. Add in tomato paste and cook it up till slightly dry. Then pour in tinned tomatoes, water, oregano and season again with another ½ tsp. salt and ½ tsp. pepper.
5. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down to low and simmer with a lid on for 30 minutes. Keep stirring from time to time to prevent the bottom from burning. Cook until sauce is reduced and beef is tender.
You can make this a day in advance. It taste better with time
Mac & Cheese
1. Preheat oven at 180˚c.
2. Cook macaroni in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and drizzle in a little olive oil to prevent it sticking. Set it aside.
3. Melt butter in a pot and stir in flour. Cook it until golden brown. Carefully pour in half of the milk and use a whisk to stir. It will be thick and stodgy at this stage.
Pour milk in batches so it is easier to incorporate with the flour
4. Pour in the remaining milk and season with a little salt and pepper. Whisk again until well combined. It doesn't need to be completely smooth.
5. Put in pre-cooked macaroni and 2/3 of grated cheese. Reserve the remaining 1/3 of cheese for later. Mix to bind well. If it is a bit dry, add in a splash of milk to loosen it slightly.
Macaroni will still be a bit under cooked at this stage. It will soften up after baking in the oven
1. Put a layer of meat sauce at the bottom of a baking dish, followed by a layer of macaroni. Repeat process alternating meat sauce and macaroni layers until both dishes are used up. Sprinkle remaining grated cheese on the top.
Be generous with the cheese. It will bake into a nice golden crust
2. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until the top is golden brown. Once ready, let it sit for 15 minutes before serving.
Dig in and enjoy!