FRANCES BISSELL'S Excellent recipes: Beef cobbler

Beef cobbler with root vegetables (serves four to six) 750g to 1kg diced English organic or traditional free-range beef, plus any bones 1 tablespoon flour 2 tablespoons olive oil 12 pickling onions, peeled 2 parsnips 2 carrots 1 celeriac root Grated zest

Beef cobbler with root vegetables

(serves four to six)

750g to 1kg diced English organic or traditional free-range beef, plus any bones

1 tablespoon flour


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2 tablespoons olive oil

12 pickling onions, peeled

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2 parsnips

2 carrots

1 celeriac root

Grated zest of an orange and its juice

300ml red wine, cider, stout

or ale

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cloves

1 bay leaf

1 sprig of thyme

Dust the meat with flour, and brown it lightly in the olive oil, together with any bones. Transfer to a casserole.

Fry the onions and add to the casserole. Peel the root vegetables, cut into even batons and add to the casserole, together with the orange zest and juice.

Deglaze the frying pan with your chosen liquid, bring to the boil and pour over the meat.

Season lightly, tuck in the cloves, bay leaf and thyme, cover and cook gently for two to three hours at 150-1800C, gas mark 3 or 4.

About 20 minutes before you are ready to serve, add the cobbler topping.

Spring onion and parsley cobbler

(serves six)

280g plain flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

125 g butter or lard

3 tablespoons yoghurt

3 tablespoons water

6 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped

2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped

Sift the dry ingredients together, and cut in the fat, and then rub in lightly to form a crumb-like texture. Stir in the herbs.

Beat the yoghurt and water together and stir in to the flour mixture to form a soft dough, adding more water, if necessary. Roll out to about 2.5cm thick and cut into rounds.

Transfer the meat to an ovenproof serving dish, arrange the scones around the top, and then bake for a further 15 minutes at 1800C, gas mark 4.

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