3 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds chopped beef
2 onions, finely chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons plain flour
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup red wine
2 cups beef stock
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
few thyme sprigs or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1½ cups frozen peas
4 pounds potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
7 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Add the garlic, flour and tomato paste, increase the heat and cook for a few minutes, then return the beef to the pan. Pour over the wine, bring to a boil and reduce slightly before adding the stock, Worcestershire sauce and herbs.
Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered for about 30 minutes. If a lot of liquid remains, add a tablespoon or two of flour (Wondra works best) until mixture thickens. Season well, then discard the bay leaves and thyme stalks. Add peas.
Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain well, then allow to steam-dry for a few minutes. Mash well with the milk, butter, and ¾ of the cheese, then season with salt and pepper.
Spoon meat into an ovenproof dish. Pipe or spoon the potatoes to cover. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until the topping is golden.
Makes 10 one cup servings.
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