Rich, flavoursome beef topped with creamy mash: cottage pie is a simple recipe that never fails to deliver - and it's a great way to use up leftovers. And that's exactly why Yeo Valley have put together this recipe.
Its recently launched Left-Yeovers yoghurt uses up a whopping 1,120kg of figs, 69kg of carrot juice and 143kg of blood orange juice that the dairy had left in its (evidently enormous) freezer, and, with a helping of strawberries, it's been turned it into a limited-edition flavour. 10p for every pot will be donated to FareShare, a charity that aims to fight hunger and food waste in the UK.
In order to celebrate the launch, the Yeo Valley Restaurant went on a ‘shopping freeze,’ buying no new ingredients for the week. This is the restaurant's version of a cottage pie, but made with all the flavours of a proper beef stew, while the barley reduces the amount of beef needed while still retaining all the flavour. A tip from Yeo Valley's kitchen: use good minced beef with at least 10% fat and don’t be shy with the Worcestershire sauce.
- 100g pearl barley
- 600ml good beef stock – save your bones in the freezer so that you always have some ready to make stock
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil
- 150g bacon, finely chopped- doesn’t have to be the best bits, this is just the job for the trimmings if you have some
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 350g carrots, peeled and finely diced
- 1 large celery stalk, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1.25kg minced beef
- 1 tbsp thyme leaves
- 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 2 tsp English mustard
- Good splash of red wine – the end of a bottle is ideal
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the potato topping
- 1.75kg floury potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
- 75g butter
- 4-5 tbsp soured cream or crème fraîche or yogurt, whatever you have left over
- A little freshly grated nutmeg
- Put the pearl barley, stock and ¼ teaspoon of salt into a small pan and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes until tender.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pan, add the bacon and fry briskly until lightly golden. Add the onion, cover and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the carrots, celery and garlic, re-cover and cook for a further 5 minutes until the veg are soft and lightly browned.
- Add the minced beef, turn up the heat to high and cook for 3-4 minutes, breaking up the meat with a spoon as it browns. Add the thyme, Worcestershire sauce, tomato purée, mustard, wine, cooked pearl barley and stock and simmer for 25-30 minutes until the liquid has reduced and the mixture has thickened. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6.
- Meanwhile, put the potatoes into a pan of salted water, bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes until tender. Drain well, then return to the pan and mash until smooth (or pass them through a potato ricer). Stir in the butter and soured cream, yogurt or crème Fraiche and season to taste with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
- Season the beef mix to taste and spoon it into a large ovenproof dish. Spoon the mash over the top, spread out evenly and then rough up a little with a fork. Bake for 35-40 minutes until bubbling hot and golden brown.
To learn more about Yeo Valley's Left-Yeovers campaign, visit yeovalley.co.uk