This is a great family dish and is certainly nice enough to have for Sunday lunch. It can be made well in advance and will happily keep in the fridge for a couple of days. It also freezes covered in plastic film for up to 1 month.
- 1 small garlic bulb
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb stewing beef, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 4 tbsp amontillado sherry (medium dry)
- 2/3 cup beef or chicken stock
- 1 ½ russet potatoes cut into chunks
- 2 oz butter
- 4 tbsp milk
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
- honey-glazed carrots, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 275°F. Cut the base of the garlic bulb off so that the garlic cloves are just showing and wrap lightly in foil. Bake for 1 hour until completely tender.
- Leave until cool enough to handle and squeeze the flesh into a bowl – you should have about a heaped tablespoon in total. Set aside until needed.
- Heat the oil in a sauté pan. Add half of the beef and cook over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes until evenly browned but not scorched, then tip on to a plate. Repeat until all of the beef has browned. Add the onion and thyme to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes until softened.
- Stir in the Dijon mustard and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Pour the sherry into the pan and allow to bubble down, then continue to cook for a few minutes until well reduced and syrupy.
- Return the beef to the pan, stirring to combine and then pour in the stock. Bring to the boil, stirring, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 1 hour or until the beef is completely tender and the sauce has slightly reduced and thickened, then spoon into a 9”x 13” pie dish and leave to cool completely.
- This allows a skin to form on top and stops the mashed potato sinking into the pie.
- Increase the oven temperature to 350F. Put the potatoes into a pan of boiling salted water, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain well, then mash with the reserved roasted garlic, the butter, milk and parsley. Season to taste.
- Carefully pipe or spread the mashed potatoes over the beef base to cover completely and fluff up with a fork. Bake for 25-30 minutes until heated through and lightly golden.
- Serve the pie straight to the table with a separate bowls of the honey-glazed carrots to hand around.