A simple supper that's got all the elements of the ultimate comfort food. Easily scaled up if you've got more mouths to feed
- 2 tsp butter
- ½ onion, chopped
- 140g lean minced beef
- 250ml beef stock
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 large jacket potato, baked
- small handful grated cheddar
MethodMelt half the butter in a non-stick pan. Cook the onion for 3-4 mins, then increase the heat and add the mince. Fry for a further 3-4 mins until the beef has browned. Stir in the stock, Worcestershire sauce, tomato purée and some seasoning. Gently bubble for 15-20 mins until the mince is tender and the sauce has thickened.
- 50g butter
- 2 onions, chopped
- 4 carrots, diced
- 1 head of celery, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 200g pack chestnut mushroom, sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 500g pack dried green lentil (we used Merchant Gourmet Puy lentils)
- 100ml red wine (optional)
- 1.7l vegetable stock
- 3 tbsp tomato purée
- 2kg floury potato, such as King Edwards
- 85g butter
- 100ml milk
- 50g cheddar, grated
- To make the sauce, heat the butter in a pan, then gently fry the onions, carrots, celery and garlic for 15 mins until soft and golden. Turn up the heat, add the mushrooms, then cook for 4 mins more. Stir in the herbs, then add the lentils. Pour over the wine and stock – it’s important that you do not season with salt at this stage. Simmer for 40-50 mins until the lentils are very soft. Now season to taste, take off heat, then stir in the tomato purée.
- While the lentils are cooking, tip the potatoes into a pan of water, then boil for about 15 mins until tender. Drain well, mash with the butter and milk, then season with salt and pepper.
- To assemble the pies, divide the lentil mixture between all the dishes that you are using, then top with mash. Scatter over the cheese and freeze for up to two months (see tips, below) or if eating that day, heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5, then bake for 30 mins until the topping is golden.
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3-4 thyme sprigs
- 2 carrots, diced (total weight 300g/11oz)
- 250g lean minced lamb (we used 10% fat)
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 1 tsp vegetable bouillon powder, made up to 350ml/12fl oz stock with boiling water
- 227g can chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 400g can green lentil with no added salt, drained
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 650g Maris Piper or King Edward potato, roughly chopped
- 250g sweet potatoes, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp half-fat crème fraîche
- 1 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
- Heat the oil in a large, deep sauté pan or saucepan. Tip in the onion and thyme sprigs and fry for 2-3 mins. Then add the carrots and fry together for 5-8 mins, stirring occasionally until the vegetables start to brown. Stir in the mince to break it down. Fry for 1-2 mins until no longer pink. Stir in the flour, scraping the bottom of the pan in case the meat sticks, then cook for another 1-2 mins. Pour in the stock and stir until thickened. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato purée, lentils and Worcestershire sauce and season with pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 45 mins, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, prepare the topping. Drop all the potatoes into a large pan of boiling water. Bring back to the boil, then simmer for 12-15 mins or until the potatoes are tender. Drain well in a colander then tip back into the pan. Mash with a masher or, briefly, with an electric hand mixer until smooth. Beat in the crème fraîche and milk with a wooden spoon until light and fluffy. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
- Spoon the meat into a 1.5 litre pie dish and remove the thyme sprigs. Top with the mash and smooth over with a knife. Use a fork to create a ridged pattern on top. Place the dish on a baking sheet and bake for about 20-25 mins until piping hot and the filling starts to bubble around the edges. If the top is not brown enough, pop it under the grill for 5 mins or so until the mash is crisp and golden. Let it sit for 5 mins then serve.
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 500g pkt lean minced beef or lamb
- 250g pkt chestnut mushroom, sliced
- 400g can chopped tomatoes with herbs
- 2 splashes Worcestershire sauce
- 1 beef stock cube
- 2 x 400g pkts long-life long-life Bacon Brunch potato saute mix or rösti mix
- steamed broccoli or French beans, to serve
- Start the filling. Preheat the grill to high. Heat the oil in a large saucepan until very hot. Tip in the mince (watch out, it will spit at first) followed by the mushrooms. Cook over a high heat for about 5 minutes, breaking up the mince with a wooden spoon, until there are no pink bits left. Don’t worry about the juice that comes from the mince and mushrooms, this all adds to the flavour.
- Finish the filling. Add the tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce and crumbled stock cube. Simmer for about 20 minutes until the mixture has thickened. You may not need to season, as the stock is usually salty, but taste and see.
- Grill in the dish. Transfer to a shallow flameproof dish and scatter the Bacon Brunch on top. Grill for about 10 minutes until the potato topping is golden and crispy. Serve with broccoli or beans.