Mince and cheese pies
1 Tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
1 Tbsp butter
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
500g lean minced beef
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
½ Tbsp Marmite (optional)
1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp plain flour
430ml good-quality beef stock
Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
2 sheets ready-rolled shortcrust pastry
2 sheets ready-rolled butter-puff pastry
4 slices strongly flavoured cheese, like cheddar or aged gouda
1 Heat the oil and butter in a large heavy-based pot over a medium heat. Sauté the onion for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent it burning. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute before adding the minced beef. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon to break up any lumps of meat, then cook for 10 minutes.
2 Add the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, Marmite (if using), soy sauce and mustard, and stir to combine. Sprinkle the flour over the top and stir in, followed by the beef stock. Stir well, allow the mixture to come to a simmer, then cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid reduces and thickens to a gravy.
3 Taste for flavour, then season with salt and pepper. Allow to cool, or refrigerate overnight.
4 Preheat the oven to
180°C. Lightly grease four individual pie tins with non-stick cooking spray. Line the tins with the shortcrust pastry on the base, then cut four additional rounds from the puff pastry for the lids. Fill the pie tins almost to the top with the cold mince filling, then place a slice of cheese on each.
5 Top the pies with the puff pastry rounds, then crimp the edges to seal. Whisk the egg with 1 Tbsp of water and brush evenly over the top of the pies, then make a couple of small incisions on the top of each. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the pies are golden and the pastry is cooked through.
6 Remove the pies from the oven and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving, as the filling will be piping hot. MAKES 4 INDIVIDUAL PIES