I love making this one-pot recipe with beef or lamb mince – it is full of flavour. There is work in the soufflé, so you could top it with plain or cheesy mash instead, if you’re short on time. Graham’s in Slane make very good mustard, and you can get Drinagh Mature Cheddar, made in west Cork, to make a deliciously cheesy mash.
This beef and noodle stir-fry is a great quick easy recipe for a very tasty meal. The steak is very tender, with lovely flavour. Always make sure your steak is Bord Bia Quality Assured. The chestnut mushrooms have a lovely nutty flavour. Experiment with different types of noodles, if you like. You will find lots of handmade hot sauces at Mic’s Chilli in Wicklow. Mic’s site is also worth a look to see his collaboration with artist Steve Simpson, whose work can also be bought there.
Minced Beef and Onion Pie with Soufflé Crouton Topping
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
400g (14oz) lean minced beef
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Marmite
2 tsp plain flour
1 tsp English mustard
200ml (7fl oz) beef stock (from a cube is fine)
buttered peas, to serve
For the soufflé topping:
75g (3oz) butter
75g (3oz) mature Cheddar cheese, grated
3 tbsp cream
1 large egg white
150g (5oz) small white bread cubes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/gas mark 6).
2 Heat the oil in a 23cm (9in) ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat and sauté the onion, carrot and celery for a couple of minutes, until just beginning to soften.
3 Stir in the rosemary with the minced beef, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon. 4 Add the Worcestershire sauce, Marmite, flour and mustard and cook for one minute, stirring constantly.
5 Pour in the stock and bring to a simmer, then cook for another five minutes to cook out the flour, stirring occasionally.
6 Prepare the soufflé topping: place the butter, cheddar cheese and cream in a small pan and melt over a low heat until runny. Don’t worry if the mixture looks a bit curdled – this is normal. Whisk the egg white until stiff and then fold into the melted cheese mixture. Season to taste and carefully fold in the bread cubes until evenly coated.
7 Quickly spoon the soufflé topping on top of the minced beef base and transfer the pan to the oven for another 15 minutes, until the soufflé topping is golden brown and bubbling.
8 Serve straight to the table with a separate bowl of buttered peas and allow everyone to help themselves.
Beef and noodle stir-fry
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 tsp sesame oil
4 x 100g (4oz) thin-cut sirloin steaks, trimmed and sliced into thin strips
2 garlic cloves, sliced
75g (3oz) chestnut mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
400g (14oz) medium egg noodles
150ml (¼ pint) chicken stock
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
1 Heat the rapeseed and sesame oils in a wok or large frying pan. Add the steak and garlic and stir-fry for three minutes, until the meat is sealed. Add the mushrooms and carrots and cook for a further five minutes.
2 Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the egg noodles and cook for three minutes, or according to the packet instructions, then drain and add to the beef and vegetable mixture in the wok, tossing to combine.
3 Add the chicken stock to the beef and noodle mixture along with the soy, oyster and sweet chilli sauces and allow to heat through. Divide among warmed bowls and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds to serve.