When I was ill as a child, the first thing my mum would cook when I got my appetite back was mince & mash. She would cook best minced beef with onion in a pressure cooker and the result would be tender meat in a thick gravy which I would have in a nest of mash & then mix it all up,like you do!.
This left me with a life long love of recipes using minced beef and this beef cobbler I have adapted has become a firm favourite. For the vegetarians out there, it can easily be adapted by just leaving out the mince or substituting with soya or Quorn. You can also make it go further by simply adding more vegetables. There are only two of us and this basic recipe easily makes five generous portions so we either eat it for two days or freeze some.
Inexpensive & easy to make if you have hungry youngsters coming (good one to teach students off to Uni. too) or just as a nice warming meal on a miserable day.
Beef Cobbler: Pre-heat oven 190c,fan 175c gas mark 5 or if you have a Rayburn/Aga like me, bung it in and watch it!
500g British beef mince
1 large carrot
1 medium parsnip
2 large onions
1 medium potato(optional)
500g passata (or two cans of chopped tomatoes)
approx 400g kidney beans (I use can or pack of organic** kidney beans in water for ease)
1 tablespoon chopped Fresh basil & thyme or dried herbs to taste
2 bay leaves
ground black pepper (enough salt in other ingredients)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 beef stock cube ( I use Kallo natural ones)
1 veg stock cube
Tablespoon Worcester Sauce (Wine or wine vinegar for vegetarians))
40g British butter
175g self-raising flour
40g cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon mustard
There is the option to add half small can of sweetcorn to the cobbler dumplings & put the rest in the stew.
The recipe can easily be spiced up a bit with the addition of some peppers and or chili powder but I can't eat spicy food & find the cinnamon adds a nice dimension to the flavour.
Heat a tablespoon of oil or a good knob of butter or lard in a casserole pan. Chop & fry onions until caramelising then add mince & brown. Chop carrot, parsnip & potato add to pan with tomato,herbs & other ingredients EXCEPT the kidney beans & corn if using.
Cover & allow this to simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, whilst you make the cobblers.
I'm old school and like to rub the butter & flour together by hand to breadcrumb consistency but you can use a food processor.
Grate the cheese in rub in then add the mustard (corn if using) and bind with the milk until firm and easily leaving the bowl clean. Knead very lightly then divide into even portions& make into slightly flattened little balls. Add the kidney beans and optional corn ,stir in and add the cobblers to the top, replace the lid and put in the oven for approx 40-45 mins until cobblers are nicely browned.
NB: re- heats well in a microwave for about 6 mins if spread on a plate but do cover or it will spit everywhere!
** I use organic beans if they are canned/packaged as they will not contain a firming agent which tends to make beans hard and to me have an under cooked texture.
Please share your own comfort food recipes.