These hearty beef and bean pies, flavoured with smoky lardons and smoked sweet paprika, are ideal if you’ve got a hungry gang to feed. Cauliflower mixed in with the potato makes the topping lighter than regular mash, but it’s great with either. Pictured overleaf
2 tbsp olive oil
100g smoked bacon lardons
2 onions, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp smoked sweet paprika
2 tbsp tomato purée
400g beef mince (12% fat)
2 tbsp plain flour
300ml beef stock
2 x 400g tins baked beans
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
500g Maris Piper potatoes, peeled
200g cauliflower
50g butter
80ml single cream
120g Cheddar, grated
1. Place a large non-stick saucepan over a high heat and add the olive oil. Add the lardons and sauté for 3–4 minutes until starting to brown. Toss in the onions and sauté for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
2. Add the paprika and tomato purée, stir over the heat for 1–2 minutes, then add the beef mince. Cook for 5–6 minutes, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon as it cooks.
3. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes before stirring in the beef stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, then tip in the baked beans. Stir then cook for another 2–3 minutes. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed, and remove from the heat.
4. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6.
5. For the topping, cut the potatoes into 2cm cubes and put into a saucepan. Cover with water, add salt and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, cut the cauliflower into florets. Add to the potatoes and cook for another 5 minutes or until both veg are tender. Drain well and then return them to the pan.
7. Mash the veg together well, using a potato masher, then stir in the butter, cream and half the cheese. Season well with salt and pepper.
8. Divide the filling between four 20cm enamel pie dishes. Spoon the mash over the filling and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and place the pie dishes on a baking tray. (You can cover any you’re not serving straight away with foil at this point and pop them in the freezer, ready to defrost and bake as needed.)
9. Place the tray on a high shelf in the oven and bake the pies for 15–20 minutes. Then turn on the oven grill and cook for a further 3–4 minutes or until the cheese topping is golden brown. Remove the pies from the oven and leave to cool slightly before tucking in!