RECIPE AND STYLING BY NOMVUSELELO MNCUBE
PHOTOGRAPH BY HEMA PATEL
Mini cottage pies
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 250g beef mince
- 30g tomato paste
- ½ x 410g tin peeled and chopped tomatoes
- 125ml (½ cup) beef stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 250g frozen peas, carrots and sweetcorn mix
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 700g potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
- 40g unsalted butter
- 180ml milk
- 50g pecorino, finely grated + extra, to sprinkle
- 12 slices white bread
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Fry the onion and carrot for 5 minutes, add the beef mince and sauté until browned.
Lower the heat, add tomato paste, tinned tomatoes, beef stock, bay leaves and thyme. Cover with a lid and simmer until tender, 20 minutes. Bring to the boil and cook, uncovered, until thickened, 15 minutes.
Add the frozen vegetables and cook for 5 minutes. Season to taste, then remove from heat and cool completely. When cool, stir in the parsley.
For the mash, boil the potatoes in a large pot of salted water over high heat until soft. Drain using a sieve. Press the potatoes through the sieve into a bowl – do this a few times to get really smooth mash. Add the butter, milk and pecorino. Stir well to combine. Adjust seasoning, then set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Grease a 12-cup muffin tray. With a rolling pin, lightly roll the bread slices and place a slice into each muffin cup.
Place the tray in the preheated oven and bake the bread for 5 minutes – the bread should not be browned, but just a little dry. Remove from oven and set aside.
Spoon the beef mince mixture into the baked bread cups, top with potato mash and sprinkle with the extra grated pecorino. Bake in the preheated oven until the potato browns, about 15 – 20 minutes. Serve hot.