Beef and cheese 'six-pack' pie

    1 hour 20 min

    This yummy recipe is my twist on 'upside-down' cottage pie! Now, I have to admit, I LOVE and ADORE root vegetables! So there is always a massive swede, a bag of turnips, loads of parsnips and a lorry of onions at hand! But no matter how much one loves dozens of stews, curries and root veg soups, there are times for a little change... So here we go! This pie consists of no less than 8 layers, combining mashed sweet potatoes, turnips, parsnips, swede, onions, white potatoes, mince beef and cheese. It's heavenly! Note: I was lucky this time to take a quick snapshot before it was all gobbled up!


    Glamorgan, Wales, UK
    2 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 3 medium-sized sweet potatoes
    • 3 large white potatoes
    • 1 medium-sized swede (about 1kg)
    • 6 small turnips (or 2 to 3 large ones)
    • 5 parsnips (about 750g)
    • 6 to 7 onions, diced
    • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, lard or beef dripping
    • 8 large cloves garlic, chopped
    • 450g beef mince
    • 1 pint water
    • 1 beef stock cube
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 150g grated hard cheese

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:50min  ›  Ready in:1hr20min 

    1. Prepare the vegetables: Wash and boil white and sweet potatoes (whole and unpeeled) in a large pot until soft; sweet potatoes should be mushy soft, white potatoes fully cooked but firm. In the meantime, peel the swede, turnips and parsnips. Chop the swede into 4-5 large chunks, small turnips and parsnips can be left whole (if using large ones, cut them in half). Place into a steamer (2-tier stove top steamer is the best) and steam until all vegetables are mushy soft. If you do not have a steamer, you can boil them rapidly until soft and drain them (let them sit in a colander for 15 to 20 minutes). Set aside so that all vegetables can cool down.
    2. In another pan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter (or lard or beef dripping) and caramelise the onions. Be careful not to burn them. Once translucent, add garlic and mince. Stir frequently and once the meat starts to stick to the pot, add about 1 pint of water and beef stock cube) Stir and cover. Cook slowly for about 20 minutes, season with salt and pepper and set aside. Make sure there is still plenty of juices at the bottom of the pot (about 8-10 tablespoons). If it is dry, add a enough water to make 8-10 tablespoons; if it is on the watery side, either boil uncovered for another 10-15 minutes or stir in 1 teaspoon of potato starch.
    3. Prepare a large dish (at least 12x7x3 inches). Rub the sides and bottom with the remaining butter. Peel the potatoes (white and sweet), mash sweet potatoes, swede and turnips (separately, each veg should be mashed on its own), slice the parsnips into 1/4 inch slices. Slice the white potatoes.
    4. Now it is the time to put it all together! Start with a layer of sweet potatoes (use all sweet potatoes); spread the mass evenly at the bottom of the dish. Top it with a layer of mashed turnips. Third layer is grated cheese; use about 1/2 of the amount. Fourth layer is sliced parsnips. Fifth layer is mashed swede. Sixth layer is cooked the beef mixture. Seveth layer is sliced white potatoes. Then to finish top the dish with the rest of the grated cheese.
    5. Bake the pie in a preheated 200 C / Gas 6 oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until piping hot and bubbly, with the cheese melted all over the pie.
    6. Serve hot and ENJOY!


    Feel free to experiment! Replace the sweet potatoes with carrots, turnips with kohlrabi, add a layer of mashed celeriac or mashed Jerusalem artichokes.

    For the cheese I used Red Leicester as it was what the fridge offered, but Monterrey Jack, Cheddar, Emmental or Gruyere are just as good.

    We enjoy spicy food, so I add 1 heaped teaspoon of dried chilli flakes and 2 bay leaves to the mince mixture as it simmers. However, if you don't like it hot, 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme will add a wonderful aroma to the dish.

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