Mini hotpot beef pies


3 large sprigs fresh thyme

1 onion

3 carrots

2 parsnips

3 medium potatoes

25g butter

450g lean beef stewing steak

1 x 15ml spoon olive oil

2 bay leaves

1 beef stock cube

300ml water

Black pepper

500g packet ready-made shortcrust pastry

1 sprig fresh thyme

2 x 15ml spoon milk


2 x chopping boards, vegetable knife, vegetable peeler, knife, weighing scales, saucepan, measuring spoon, mixing spoon, kettle, measuring jug, 4 small ovenproof hotpot dishes, aluminium foil, baking tray, oven gloves, rolling pin, flour dredger, table knife, pastry brush.


1. Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 4, 180°C, 350°F.

2. Prepare the ingredients:

· chop the thyme roughly;

· peel and finely slice the onion;

· peel and slice the carrots thinly;

· peel and slice the parsnips thinly;

· slice the potatoes thinly;

· cut the butter into 4 cubes.

3. With a clean knife and chopping board, cut the stewing beef steaks into cubes.

4. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, then add the onion, thyme and bay leaves.

5. Add the cubes of beef and stir well to brown the meat.

6. Make up the stock by adding boiling water to the crushed stock cube.

7. Add the stock and a few twists of black pepper.

8. Spread out half of the carrot, parsnip and potato slices over the bases of 4 small ovenproof hotpot dishes.

9. Spoon the meat mixture into the dishes and cover with another layer of vegetable slices, finishing with a layer of the potato slices.

10. Place a knob of butter on the top of each hotpot.

11. Cover the pots with foil place on a baking tray and cook for approximately 1½ hours.

12. Divide the pastry into four pieces and roll out to round shapes slightly larger than the top of each pot.

Top tips:

· Serve with seasonal steamed greens and extra gravy.

· Try using puff pastry for a change of texture.


Why not use the Explore Food calculator, the British Nutrition Foundation's free online nutritional analysis programme, to calculate the nutritional information for this and other Food - a fact of life recipes?

Food skills:

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Glaze & Coat
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Portion / Divide
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Cut, Chop, Slice, Dice & Trim
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Fry & Sauté
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