Rooksnest Cumberland Pie Recipe

Perfect belly timber for winter months! This recipe can be made ahead and chilled, or frozen and defrosted.

The next Rooksnest Beef Boxes will be available early March. Click here for how to order this delicious, local meat straight from the farmer.

  • 3 medium leeks white part diced, green part sliced & kept separate
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 kg Rooksnest beef mince
  • 200g unsmoked bacon lardons
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 5 thyme sprigs
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp Marmite
  • 2 l beef stock
For the topping:
  • 1kg swede (about 2 large), peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 350g floury potatoes, chopped into chunks
  • 25g butter, plus a few knobs
  • 100ml milk
  • a little freshly grated nutmeg
  • 25g mature cheddar, grated
  • 25g fresh breadcrumbs
  • Pre-Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
  • Gently soften the leek whites, carrot and celery in an ovenproof casserole dish with the butter, oil and a pinch of salt.
  • Meanwhile, brown the mince in a non-stick frying pan. Cook in batches to keep it brown and avoid it going grey and soggy.
  • When the veg is soft, stir in the bacon lardons, turn up the heat a little and cook until everything is golden.
  • Stir in the mince, followed by the flour, 3 thyme sprigs, Worcestershire sauce and Marmite.
  • Gradually stir in the stock and bring everything to a simmer, then cover and transfer to the oven.
  • Cook for 2 hrs until the sauce is thickened and rich, and the beef tender, removing the lid and stirring in the leek greens halfway through.
  • While the beef bakes, put the swede and potato into two separate pans. Cover with cold water, bring to the boil, then simmer until tender – about 20 mins. Drain both well, then tip back into their pans over a low heat to steam-dry for a few mins. When both (but particularly the swede) look dry, combine them in one pan with the butter, milk, nutmeg and lots of seasoning. Mash until smooth.
  • Transfer the mince to individual dishes or one baking dish (or leave in the casserole if you prefer, discarding the thyme sprigs). Cover with the mash, using a fork to fluff up the top. Rub the cheddar into the breadcrumbs with the leaves from the remaining thyme sprigs and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle this mixture over the mash, dot with small knobs of butter, then increase the temperature to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and bake for 30 mins until golden and crisp on top.
  • Can be made ahead and chilled, or frozen and defrosted. Bake for an extra 10-15 mins until the sauce is bubbling.

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