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Minced Beef Cobbler with Cheesy Scones

Introduction & method

The origins of cobblers are unclear, but it is certainly an old idea. Scones (some say dumplings but I think they are wrong) are placed on top of a stewed fruit or meat filling and baked. I guess you might call it a primitive pie. Adding cheese to the scones gives them a whole extra flavour dimension. I think we'll call it oo-marm-ee.

Minced Beef Cobbler with Cheesy Scones Recipe

Make the Meat Filling

This dish is finished off in the oven so you can save yourself a bit of washing-up by using an ovenproof frying pan. Otherwise you'll need to transfer the sauce to a casserole dish.
Peel and chop the onion. Heat the oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Throw in a chunk of onion and when it starts to sizzle add the rest of the onion. Cook for about five minutes until softened and very slightly browned. Very finely dice the celery and carrot, turn the heat right down and stir in the celery and carrot. Cover the pan and let the vegetables sweat for 10 minutes. Add the minced beef, break it up with a spatula and get it browned all over. Add the stock and the tomato puree and simmer for 30 minutes. Now stir in the thyme and parsley, cook for a couple of minutes and taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper if you like. IF you're using frozen peas, let them sit in boiling water for a couple of minutes, then drain them and add them to the sauce. The sauce is now ready but you can cook it for an hour or two longer if you want seriously rich sauce and tender meat - wathc the moisture level though, and add water or stock if it's getting too thick.

Make the Scones

I recommend you only make the scone mix when you are ready to bake because the baking powder will lose its effectiveness if left to stand too long. Heat your oven to 180°C (356°F) for a fan/convection oven, 200°C (392°F) conventional, gas 6. Your butter needs to be fridge-cold and cut into chunks. Your cheese needs to be grated. In a large mixing bowl, mix the salt in with the flour. Rub in the butter with your fingertips - it should look like coarse sand when you're done. Stir in the mustard powder, the baking powder, the chopped parsley and about two thirds of the cheese. Fold in the water in stages - you only want to add just enough to make it come together in a ball - adding too much will make it sticky and hard to work with. Sprinkle some flour on your worktop and tip the dough out. Press it flat, about 25mm (an inch) thick. Cut the dough into 8 discs - you'll probably have to re-form dough offcuts so you can use it all. If the pan you cooked the meat in isn't ovenproof, you'll need to transfer it to a casserole dish. Place the discs on top of the meat sauce. Leave space between each one because they will expand. Brush the top of the scones with eggwash, then sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Put the pan or casserole dish in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, turning round halfway through.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Minced Beef Cobbler with Cheesy Scones on YouTube.


Ingredients & Info

 450 grams minced (ground) beef
 1 large onion
 1 carrot
 1 stick celery
 2 tbsp oil
 500 ml beef or chicken stock
 a squirt of tomato puree
 half a tsp thyme
 2 tbsp fresh flatleaf parsley
 3 tbsp frozen peas (optional)
  salt and pepper to taste
 175 grams self-raising flour
 90 grams cheddar cheese
 50 grams butter
 125 ml water
 1 tsp mustard powder
 1 tsp salt
 half a tsp baking powder
 1-2 tbsp chopped parsley


Beaten egg with a splash of milk to glaze the scones.

US Customary/Imperial

Serves 4 
Prep time: 10 minutes.
Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes.
Total time: 1 hours 30 minutes.