Submitted - Ben
Ingredients3 tbsp olive oil
1¼kg beef mince
2 onions , finely chopped
3 carrots , chopped
3 celery sticks, chopped
2 garlic cloves , finely chopped
3 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp tomato purée
large glass red wine (optional)
850ml beef stock
4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
few thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
For the mash:
1.8kg potatoes , chopped
200g strong cheddar , grated
freshly grated nutmeg
MethodHeat 1 tbsp oil in a large saucepan and fry the mince until browned - you may need to do this in batches. Set aside as it browns. Put the rest of the oil into the pan, add the vegetables and cook on a gentle heat until soft, about 20 mins. Add the garlic, flour and tomato purée, increase the heat and cook for a few mins, then return the beef to the pan. Pour over the wine, if using, and boil to reduce it slightly before adding the stock, Worcestershire sauce and herbs. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 45 mins. By this time the gravy should be thick and coating the meat. Check after about 30 mins - if a lot of liquid remains, increase the heat slightly to reduce the gravy a little. Season well, then discard the bay leaves and thyme stalks.
Meanwhile, make the mash. In a large saucepan, cover the potatoes in salted cold water, bring to the boil and simmer until tender. Drain well, then allow to steam-dry for a few mins. Mash well with the milk, butter, and three-quarters of the cheese, then season with the nutmeg and some salt and pepper.
Spoon meat into 2 ovenproof dishes. Pipe or spoon on the mash to cover. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese. If eating straight away, heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7 and cook for 25-30 mins, or until the topping is golden. Or follow the steps (below) to freeze.
CommentsOUR TOP TIPS:
To get really smooth, creamy mash, use a potato ricer or sieve. To stop the mash sinking into the filling, allow the meat to cool before topping with the mashed potato. Freeze in individual ovenproof dishes for an easy meal for one. For a really crisp, golden topping, flash under the grill for a few mins before serving.
Make sure the pie is completely cold, then cover it well with cling film and freeze. Always freeze the pie on the day that you make it. Defrost in the fridge overnight, then cook as per the recipe. Alternatively, to cook from frozen, heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4, cover with foil and cook for 1½ hrs. Increase oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7, uncover and cook for 20 mins more, until golden and bubbling.
IF YOU WANT TO USE A SLOW COOKER:
Brown your mince in batches then tip into your slow cooker and stir in the vegetables, flour, purée, wine, stock, Worcestershire sauce and herbs with some seasoning. Cover and cook on High for 4-5 hours. Make the mash following step 2, above, and then oven cook to finish according to step 3.
Per serving 600 kcalories, protein 37g, carbohydrate 40g, fat 34 g, saturated fat 16g, fibre 4g, sugar 7g, salt 1.15 g '