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Monday 4 February 2013

The Big Glut Recipe – February


Leeks, cabbages, broccoli abound but what about a simple supper that feeds up to eight people, takes little time to prepare and virtually cooks itself? Pour a nice glass (or two) of your favourite red wine to accompany the pie. Simplicity itself, and you can always cook and add another seasonal vegetable to serve:

  • 1 beef stock cube 
  • 50g/2 oz butter 
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped 
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced 
  • 2 celery sticks, trimmed and finely diced 
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped 
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme, leaves stripped 
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 1kg/2lb 4oz good-quality British beef mince 
  • 2 tablespoons tomato purée 
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 
  • A few drops of Tabasco sauce to taste 
  • 175ml/3 fl oz red wine 
  • Pinch each of sea salt and black pepper
To make the mash topping
  • 1kg/2lb 4oz white potatoes, peeled 
  • 75g/3oz butter 
  • A splash of milk 
  • Parmesan cheese, for grating 
  • Buttered peas, another vegetable or salad to serve

Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5. Dissolve the beef stock cube in 400ml/14 fl oz of boiling water.
On a medium heat melt the butter in a pan, add the vegetables: onion, carrot, celery, garlic, thyme and bay leaf and sweat for 10 minutes or so until softened but don’t let them colour too much. Now add the beef mince and cook until brown, a matter of minutes. Add in the tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco then stir and cook for about 2 minutes. Turn the heat up to high and add the red wine. Let it bubble away and reduce for a few minutes, now add the stock and reduce to a medium heat. Simmer for a further 20 minutes, giving it a frequent stir.

Time to cut the potatoes into even halves and quarters, cook in a pan of boiling, salted water for about 15 to 20 minutes, until cooked. Drain in a colander and set aside.

Taste the mince and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer it to an ovenproof dish (approximately 20cm by 30cm). Mash the potatoes with the butter, milk and a pinch of salt and pepper then spread over the top of the mince. Finely grate over a little Parmesan cheese then cook for 45 minutes, or until golden and bubbling. Serve with buttered peas, another seasonal vegetable or a side salad of choice.

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