Tender spiced meat topped with cheesy mash... What’s not to like?
Makes 4 portions
600g stewing beef, cubed
Olive oil, for frying
3 onions, finely chopped
1 bottle of dark beer
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1⁄2 tsp ground ginger
1 bay leaf
1 thick slice of ginger loaf (about 50g)
1.25kg floury potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
150–200ml hot milk
2 egg yolks
125g mature cheddar cheese, grated
Fresh nutmeg, for grating
1 Season the beef and set aside for 5 mins. Heat the butter and a splash of oil in a heavy-based pan and sear the meat for 3–5 mins, turning, until browned. You will need to do this
in batches. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
2 Fry the onions in the same pan for 10 mins, until golden. Add the beer, vinegar, mustard, ground ginger and bay. Crumble in the ginger loaf and return the meat to the pan. Bring to the boil, cover and turn the heat down as low as you can. Cook for about 2 hrs, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender. You might need to add more liquid, or reduce the liquid at the end.
3 Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in a large pan of salted boiling water for 20–25 mins. Drain and mash with the milk and butter. Mix in the yolks and half of the grated cheese, then season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.
4 Season the meat to taste, and divide among 4 mini casserole dishes. Top with the mash and remaining cheese.
5 To eat at once, bake in an oven preheated to 200C/Fan 180C/400F for 10 mins, until the cheese has melted. For a crisp, golden crust, brown under the grill for the last few mins.
TO FREEZE AND REHEAT
Wrap, dish and all, in freezerproof clingfilm or put in freezer bags, and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw, unwrap and reheat for 20–25 mins in an oven preheated to 200C/Fan 180C/400F. Reheat from frozen for 45–60 mins at the same temperature.
Turn to page 46 of February's The Simple Things for more meals for one. It does take time, but when you’re done, you’ll have a wealth of comfort food to squirrel away.