• 1 tblsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 – 4 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 2 small carrots, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp chopped thyme
  • 750 g ( minced (ground) beef
  • 2 tsp tomato puree (paste)
  • 200 ml (1 cup) red wine or 150ml (2/3 cup) beef stock
  • 1 tblsp worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • for the garlic mash:
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • olive oil
  • 6 – 8 potatoes, chopped
  • 25 g (2 tbsp) butter
  • 3 tblsp milk
  • salt and black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 190oC/375oC/gas mark 5.
  • First, make the mash. Horizontally slice the bulb of garlic. Place it in kitchen foil, drizzle with a little oil, then seal tightly and bake in the oven for 45–55 minutes until the garlic has softened.
  • Put the potatoes into a large saucepan of water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are softened. Strain into a large colander and return them to the saucepan with the butter and milk.
  • Squeeze in the roasted garlic and season with salt and black pepper. Mash the potatoes until completely smooth.
  • While the potatoes and garlic are cooking, make the pie filling. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the onions, celery, carrots, garlic and thyme and saute for 3–4 minutes until the onion is just beginning to soften but has not yet coloured.
  • Stir the meat into the pan and cook for 5–6 minutes until browned, breaking up any lumps with the back of a wooden spoon. Stir in the tomato puree and the red wine or stock and cook gently for another 15–20 minutes until completely tender. Add in the Worcestershire sauce, if using.
  • Place the beef in an ovenproof casserole dish. Pipe or spoon the mashed potato on the top of the meat mixture.
  • Bake for 20–25 minutes until the filling is bubbling hot and the topping is golden brown. Serve immediately with some crisp green vegetables.


If you are not a garlic fan, add some grated cheese or snipped chives to the mashed potato – or sometimes plain and simple buttery mash just hits the spot.