Cooking up my County Beef mixture

A very flexible recipe and a good way to hide vegetables from those who pull a face at the mere mention of a courgette.

Another of my batch cooking favourites! I make this once a month or so – slightly less these days as we are eating less meat. This way I make sure Bill does eat vegetables and the meat does go a long way. The same recipe works well if you use a soya-based meat substitute.


  • 750 grams of 5% fat minced beef
  • 3 rashers of lean bacon, roughly chopped
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 celery sticks
  • 2 courgettes 
  • 1 pepper
  • 200 grams of mushrooms 
  • Salt 
  • Black pepper
  • Dried mixed herbs if all fresh ones have finished
  • Anchovy paste, or three anchovy fillets
  • 2 Oxo cubes, or similar beef extract
  • Olive oil


  1. Slice and chop the onions
  2. Chop all the remaining vegetables. Boil a kettle for the stock cubes.
  3. Add the olive oil to a pan (or spray with Frylite), add the vegetables and stir well, making sure they do not catch. Keep this up until they have softened slightly.
  4. Add the chopped bacon and herbs.
  5. Add the minced beef, breaking it up well and mixing really thoroughly.
  6. Add the anchovy fillets or a teaspoon of Anchovy paste
  7. Add the stock cubes and a litre of hot water mixing well.
  8. On a medium heat, leave the mixture to bubble stirring occasionally.
  9. Taste for seasoning and allow to simmer until thick.
  10. At this stage you can divide the mixture and freeze it or embellish and make into supper dishes. I divide the mixture into a number of bowls and make some of the following:
  • Add my rustic potato topping for cottage pie
  • Add a tin of chopped tomatoes, a tin of chilli beans and chilli powder for a chilli supper served with either Nachos and sour cream or plain rice
  • Add tomato paste and chopped olives for a pasta dish
  • Add tinned tomatoes and fresh basil for a lasagne
  • Any left, gets a smidge of curry powder and stuffs a jacket potato

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