A tasty modern twist on a traditional favourite


  • 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 (1.lb) 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 topping. Horizontally slice the bulb of garlic. Place it in kitchen foil, drizzle with a little oil, then seal the foil and bake it 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 the potatoes into a large colander and return them to the saucepan with the butter and milk. Squeeze the garlic out of the roasted cloves into the potatoes. Season with salt and black pepper, then mash the potatoes until completely smooth.
  • While the potatoes and garlic are cooking, make the pie filling. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the onions, celery, carrots and garlic together with the 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 onto 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.


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