bullshot beef pie with cauliflower cheese mash

serves 6 hands-on time 45 min, simmering time 3 hours, oven time 30-35 min

The filling and topping can both be made the day before and kept separately in the fridge overnight - the beef will be better for it. Assemble, then bake.

A bullshot is a comforting old-fashioned drink, usually served hot, combining beef stock, vodka, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco. We've taken its flavours and turned them into a richly flavoured casserole.

for the filling
1.2kg British beef shin, cut into 2cm chunks
Large handful plain flour, well-seasoned with salt
A few glugs olive or sunflower oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
3 tbsp tomato purée
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
200ml vodka, plus an extra splash
1 litre good-quality fresh beef stock
Tabasco sauce to taste

for the topping
Large knob of unsalted butter
200ml milk
½ onion
1 bay leaf
½ tsp mustard powder 0
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
800g floury potatoes, chopped into large chunks
1 cauliflower, broken into florets
150g extra mature cheddar, coarsely grated

you'll also need...
1.5 litre ovenproof pie dish

To make the filling, toss the beef chunks in the flour, then shake off the excess. Heat a glug of oil in a large casserole over a high heat and brown the meat all over, in batches, until it has a golden crust. Set each batch aside on a plate as you go. When the meat is browned, set it aside and add another glug of oil to the dish.
Add the onion, carrot and celery, then cook over a medium heat for 10-12 minutes, stirring often, until softened but not coloured.

Stir in the tomato puree, along with 1 tbsp of flour leftover from coating the beef, and cook for a few minutes more. Turn up the heat and add the Worcestershire sauce and vodka, bubbling until reduced by two thirds. Return the meat to the casserole, pour in the beef stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring every so often, for 3 hours or until the meat is falling apart and the sauce has thickened. Add the Tabasco, taste and season, then pour the filling into the pie dish and set aside.

To make the topping, put the butter and milk in a saucepan with the onion, bay, mustard powder and nutmeg. Heat gently until steaming, then keep over a very low heat for 20 minutes - don't let it bubble.

Cook the potatoes in salted boiling water for 15-20 minutes. About 4 minutes before the end of that time, drop in the cauliflower florets and simmer until almost tender. Drain, then spoon out the potatoes and mash in a mixing bowl. Strain out the onion and bay leaf (discard), then gradually mix the milk into the mash. Stir in half the cheese until loose and creamy. Gently stir in the cauliflower florets, season with salt and pepper, then spread the mixture over the beef. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/ gas 6. Bake the pie for 30-35 minutes until the topping is golden and the fitting is bubbling around the edges. Serve with steamed greens.

PER SERVING 737kcals, 25.3g fat (11.8g saturated), 62.5g protein, 42.7g carbs (12.9g sugars), 2.3g salt, 7.1g fibre

You could knock back a bullshot drink with this, but a premium Chilean or Aussie merlot, bristling with plums and mulberries, is a better match.