These individual pies look amazing and taste even better, yet they are easy to prepare, using ready-made puff pastry. Take your time to properly brown the meat so it caramelises and gets super-tasty. You can prepare the filling well ahead.
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, finely diced
500g beef mince (12% fat)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp thyme leaves
1 tbsp tomato purée
2½ tbsp plain flour
500ml beef stock
1 tsp Marmite
½ tsp sugar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1½ x 320g packs ready-rolled all-butter puff pastry
1 free-range egg, lightly beaten with a pinch of salt, to glaze
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat half the olive oil in a large non-stick sauté pan over a medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the onions and cook for 5 minutes or until softened and starting to caramelise. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
2. Place the pan back over a high heat and add the remaining olive oil. When the pan is smoking hot, add the beef to the pan, break it up quickly with a wooden spoon and cook, stirring, for 10–12 minutes until well browned.
3. Return the onions to the pan, add the garlic and thyme and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato purée and cook for another 2 minutes, then sprinkle in the flour. Cook, stirring, for 1–2 minutes, then gradually stir in the beef stock. Add the Marmite and sugar and bring to the boil. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the gravy thickens a little.
4. Remove from the heat and stir in the Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the beef mixture into 4 individual pot pie dishes, dividing it equally, and leave to cool.

5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6.
6. Once the filling is cooled, unroll the puff pastry and cut 4 circles, slightly larger than the top of the pie dishes. Brush the edges with beaten egg and position the circles (glazed edges down) over the filling. Press the edges onto the rim of the dishes to seal and brush the top of the pastry with egg.
7. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Serve piping hot, with mash and green veg if you like.and keep the sauce warm over a very low heat.
6. When the pasta is ready, drain it well and add to the warm sauce. Mix well and tip into a roasting tray, about 33 x 23cm.
7. For the topping, sprinkle over the breadcrumbs, then the grated Cheddar and finally the Parmesan. Place on a high shelf in the oven to cook for 20 minutes or until the topping is golden and bubbling. Serve it up while it’s piping hot!
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