Tender beef potato top crunch
This recipe is from my second cookbook, Everyday Delicious. Technically, this isn’t a pie as I haven’t given it a pastry base (to keep it on the healthier side). I see this as kind of a really fancy, extra delicious shepherd’s or cottage pot pie, using lovely chunks of beef (rather than mince), which are so tender they fall apart on your fork. Of course, as usual I’ve used simple ingredients, it’s lovely and simple to make and tastes sensational. It’s also gluten-free if you leave out the breadcrumbs or use a gluten-free variety.
Preparation time 20 mins
Cooking time 2 1/2 hours
1kg Quality Mark chuck steak, trimmed and cut into big (6cm ish) chunks
2 cups red wine (or use additional stock)
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 leek, finely chopped (discard the very dark green tops and outer layer)
400g mushrooms, sliced
1 cup beef stock (low salt)
½ cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons cornflour mixed with 2 tablespoons water
Crunchy potato topping
1kg mashing potatoes, peeled and chopped evenly
3/4 cup grated cheddar or fresh Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup breadcrumbs tossed with 1 tbsp olive oil
Preheat the oven to 140c.
Heat a little oil in a large pan over a high heat. Add the beef in batches and brown all over, then transfer to a casserole dish. Add the red wine to the pan; let it bubble rapidly for 30 seconds and pour over the meat.
Return the pan to a medium heat and add a dash more oil with the onion, garlic and leek and cook, stirring for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the stock, tomato paste, mustard, bay leaves and cornflour mixture. Stir to combine then pour over the meat in the casserole dish and stir. Cover and bake in the oven for 2.5 – 3 hours. Cool slightly while your prepare the potatoes (remove the bay leaves).
Increase the oven temperature to 200c.
Place the potatoes in a large pot of cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain and replace over a low heat for a minute to remove excess moisture. Mash, or pass through a potato ricer.
Stir the butter through and season to taste. Arrange spoonfuls on top of the meat mixture to cover. Toss the breadcrumbs and scatter over the potato with the cheese. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until golden on top (you can grill for the last few minutes). Let it sit for 10 minutes or so before serving if you can!
Serve with some steamed seasonal veges.
Chelsea’s tips and tricks
- Don’t cut the meat up too small or it will dry out. The tender meat will shred apart later into smaller pieces.
- This dish can be made in the slow cooker for around 8 hours on low or 5-6 hours on high. Reduce the amount of wine (or stock) to 1 cup.
- The cooked filling can be frozen for up to a month.
- A serving of lean beef provides up to a third of a woman’s iron requirements – important for energy levels.