This delicious Swiss Herb Beef and Potato Gratin dish is one of my favourite recipes and courtesy of the wonderful Mary Berry who always has amazing seasonal recipe ideas.
We always like to make sure our produce is local as well as seasonal, using 100% quality assured Scotch Beef from Angus and Aberdeenshire and using local suppliers for our vegetables.
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 1 kg lean steak mince (95% visible lean)
- 2 fat garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tbsp double concentrate tomato puree
- 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp caster sugar (optional)
- 1 kg small courgettes, sliced into 1cm (½ “) rounds
- 3 large potatoes, cut into 2cm ( ¾ “) dice (Roosters or Maris Piper are ideal)
- 300g full-fat cream cheese
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tbsp snipped chives
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 1 generous tbsp double cream
- 150g Parmesan, grated
Preheat the oven to 160c/140c fan/gas 3.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the sunflower oil in a large ovenproof frying pan or flameproof casserole over a high heat. Add the onions and fry briefly. Add the mince and brown thoroughly all over. Add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato puree and chopped tomatoes, and season with salt and black pepper. Cover with a lid, bring to the boil and transfer to the oven for 45-60 mins until the mince is tender. Check the seasoning. If the tomatoes are a little sharp, add the teaspoon of caster sugar. Spoon ragu mince into a deep 1.8 litre (3 ¼ pint) ovenproof dish. Increase oven temperature to 220c/200c fan/gas 7.
Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the courgettes and fry in batches until golden on both sides but not too soft. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in boiling salted water for 3-5 mins, until they are just cooked. Drain.
Place the cream cheese, parsley, garlic and chives in a food processor and blend to mix together and break up the cream cheese. Combine the cornflour and cream in a small bowl, then add to the processor and whiz for a few seconds to mix. Check seasoning. Spoon cheese mixture into a bowl and add the warm potatoes. Gently fold them together; the warm potatoes will loosen the cheese mixture.
Arrange the courgette slices in a layer over the top of the mince, then spoon the potato mix on top. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and bake in the oven for approx. 35 mins, or until bubbling and golden on top.
Bel’s Tips and Serving Suggestions:
Although a more Autumn/Winter dish, I think this needs nothing more than a mixed leaf salad. If you can find purple endive (chicory) to mix through the leaves, all the better. It is amazing how the colour transforms the salad. Petit pois or green beans are a perfect single vegetable option. Keep it simple as the star of the show is the gratin.
If you are adverse to courgettes, just leave them out. Make sure; however, that the ragu has enough moisture in it (you may need to add a little beef stock to compensate for the lack of liquid from the courgettes). Remember to use small courgettes as large ones are too watery with will make the gratin wet, no soggy bottoms here!
Check out our other recipes for more ideas.