Potato Pies

1 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 lb beef mince
2 tbsps flour
2 cups beef stock
2 tbsps tomato paste
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
salt and fresh ground black pepper
4 sheets frozen short-crust pastry, thawed
3 tbsps butter
¼ cup milk
5 large potatoes, cooked and mashed

1. Preheat the oven to 415ºF/210ºC. Heat oil in a pan, add onion and cook for 5 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the mince beef and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until browned, breaking up any lumps with folk.

2. Sprinkle the flour over the meat and stir to combine. Add the stock, paste, sauce, salt and pepper to pan; stir for 2 minutes. Bring to the boil and reduce heat slightly. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until the mixture has reduced and thickened allow mixture to cool completely.

3. Brush eight 4¼inch/11cm pie tins with melted butter or oil. Using a plate as a guide, cut the pastry into 5½inch/14cm circles, and line the pie tins. Cut sheets of greaseproof paper to cover each tin, spread dried beans or rice over the paper. Bake for approximately 7 minutes. Discard the paper and beans and cook the pastry for another 7 minutes. Allow to cool.

4. Spoon the filling into the pastry cases. Stir the butter and milk into the mashed potato and pipe over the top of the meat mixture. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly golden. Serve immediately with vegetables of your choice. Steamed snow peas, broccoli, baby carrots, or grilled mushrooms and tomatoes are all suitable.

Variation: Potato can be spread over filling, if you prefer. Rough up the surface with a folk.

     Makes 8 pies.