Mutton and potato pies

Serves 10

I suggest that if you are going to make this then you make a large batch of the mince as a main course for another day and just keep aside a little for these lovely snacks. If your butcher hasn't got mutton, then use minced lamb. You can buy great tasting small tartlet cases from good supermarkets these days.

1kg minced mutton or lamb
Vegetable oil for frying
2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1tsp chopped thyme leaves
1tbsp flour
1tbsp tomato purée
1ltr hot beef stock
1tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 glasses of red wine
2-3 servings of firm mashed potato
60g butter
10 mini tart cases
A few fresh white breadcrumbs mixed with some finely grated cheddar

Season the minced mutton with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat some of the vegetable oil in a heavy-based frying pan until it is almost smoking and cook the meat in small quantities for a few minutes turning it with a wooden spoon, then drain in a colander to remove any fat. Meanwhile in a thick-bottomed saucepan, heat some more vegetable oil and gently cook the onion, garlic and thyme for 2-3 minutes, stirring every so often until they have softened.

Add the meat, dust it with the flour and add the tomato purée and continue stirring on a low heat for a few minutes.

Slowly add the red wine, Worcestershire sauce and the hot beef stock, bring to the boil and simmer for about 1 hour until the liquid has thickened and the meat is tender.

Remove from the heat, check the seasoning and leave it to cool. Mix the mashed potato with the melted butter and season to taste.

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Fill the tart cases with the mince and either pipe or spoon the potato mixture on top, scatter with the breadcrumb mixture and bake for about 6-8 minutes.