This is a recipe I have been using for about 14 years, give or take (my mum had me cooking from about 12!) It’s ideal if you’re time-strapped, cash-strapped, basically anything-strapped!
Also, it blends up well for weaning little ones, although I tend to blend up the mince filling and then stir in some mashed potato.
£5.50 for the whole meal (including veg on the side)
£1.38 per person*
*this will depend on how many people you feed and their appetites! I usually get 6 adult portions out of this recipe, 2 medium sized pies which serve 2 each with veg on the side, and 2 small individual sized pies which serve 1 adult each or 2 children each. So you could effectively serve 4 adults and 4 children with this recipe if you have veg on the side.
- 500g beef mince (I use lean 5% fat)
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 courgettes, diced
- 4 carrots, chopped
- 5/6 mushrooms, chopped
- 2 400g tins baked beans
- 2 beef oxo cubes
- 1tsp mixed herbs
- 1/2tsp garlic
- 1kg potatoes, peeled
- Knob of butter/splash of milk
- You can also add a splash of Worcestershire sauce to the mince if you like, although I’m not keen.
- Boil two pans of water, adding your potatoes to one carrots to the other. Parboil the carrots, just to soften them up a little, and leave potatoes to cook until mashable.
- While you’re waiting for the carrots, throw the onions, mushrooms and courgette into a frying pan on a low heat (N.B. I don’t cook with any oil, but use an oil spray instead. This is just my preference so either is fine)
- Let the onions, mushrooms and courgette cook until they are getting soft (about 5-10 minutes) then add the mince, turn the heat up to medium and cook until browned (2-5 minutes)
- Add both tins of baked beans, both oxo cubes, mixed herbs, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce (if using) and give it a good mix.
- Your carrots should be well softened by now, so with a ladle add them to the frying pan, adding some of the water too. You want to add enough water so that the mix can simmer for a while until reduced, creating a wicked gravy-like consistency.
- When your potatoes are totally cooked, drain the water from the pan, add the butter and milk (a little grated cheddar tastes amazing if you add it to the mash now!) and mash together. It really doesn’t matter how well you mash the potatoes to be honest, sometimes leaving it a bit lumpier helps to add some texture to the meal.
- Ladle the mince mixture into dishes; TIP – if you struggle for quick and easy lunch ideas, get some smaller dishes and make a couple of mini pies. These can then be wrapped and frozen or stored in the fridge for a couple of days and simply reheated in the microwave! I always make two smaller ones, one for Mr C’s lunch the next day. and one for me and the kids to share.
I like these mini dishes from the Jane Asher range at Poundland. Rather than making one huge pie and then having to deal with leftovers, I just make these small ones to put in the fridge or freezer and simply reheat in the microwave and serve whole in its dish (I am actually eating one straight from its dish as I type!)
Top each one with mashed potato, use a fork to create ridges in the mash (which helps to create yummy crispy bits) and stick under the grill on medium to high for about 10-15 minutes until the top is nicely browned and serve with veg (frozen veg is your friend, people!)