beef, tomato and fennel pies with truffle and gruyere mash

The perfect comfort food


    1 kg beef (chuck), cubed

    2 onions, chopped

    3 garlic cloves, chopped

    2 tsp fennel seeds

    1 fennel bulb, chopped

    4 bay leaves

    bunch of sage

    bunch of thyme

    300g button mushrooms

    2 tbsp tomato puree

    400g baby tomatoes 

    handful porcini mushrooms

    2 tbsp red current jelly

    glass of marsala wine

    glass of red wine

    750ml stock of your choice

    salt and pepper


    1kg potatoes

    200g butter

    300ml full fat milk

    2 tbsp Dijon mustard

    200g gruyere cheese, grated

    truffle oil   

    salt and pepper 


1.     Heat some oil in a large pan add the beef in batches, sear and brown. Once browned all over take out the pan and leave on kitchen paper till later.

2.     Add the onion, garlic, fennel seeds, fennel, bay, sage and thyme, saute for about 5 minutes till starting to caramelize. Add the mushrooms and carry on cooking for another couple of minutes then pop the beef back into the pan. Add the tomato puree and the baby tomatoes, mix then add the porcini, jelly, marsala, red wine and stock and season. Cover, bring to a simmer and cook for 2 – 3 hours till the meat has broken down and the liquid has reduced to a thick sauce.

3.     Make the mash – Peel the potatoes, chop into quarters, place in a pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil then simmer for about 20 minutes till the potatoes are soft. Drain and press through a potato ricer (if you dont have one then just mash till smooth). Add the butter, milk, mustard and cheese and very generously season (you always need more salt and pepper with mash then you think). Drizzle in the truffle oil to your taste.

4.     Spoon the beef mixture into pie dishes – or one large one and cover with the mash. Heat the oven to 200c, place the pies in the oven and cook for about 15 mins till golden and bubbling.