Beef Cakes

Inspired by a nineteenth century recipe, these Beef Cakes are an ingenious and delicious way to use up leftover beef.

Deja Food
From the book Deja Food


This recipe is an adaptation of something I found in a nineteenth-century recipe book, and a great way for making cold beef into a tasty and appetising new dish. The recommmendation was for it to be served hot for breakfast, but this might be a little too out of the ordinary for modern tastes. I can see it being a great brunch dish or an easy Monday-night supper, especially if prepared beforehand from the Sunday joint. The quick frying of the assembled cakes is only intended to colour the tops and bottoms of the potato; the heat won't reach the meat patty. The cakes can then be chilled until needed and then only require a thorough warming in the oven before serving.

Serves 4


150g cold, preferably underdone beef
50g lean bacon
25g fresh suet
1 shallot or small onion, finely chopped
1tbsp walnut ketchup (pickling liquid from a jar of pickled walnuts)
4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2-3 tbsp beef stock or 1 tbsp Bovril mixed with 2 tbsp hot water, cooled
400g mashed potato
salt and pepper
butter, for frying


Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3.

Mince or finely chop the beef and bacon. Add the suet, chopped onion, parsley, ketchup and stock. Season with salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly and divide into 4 portions. Shape into patties.

Season the mashed potato and divide into 8 portions. Spoon a layer of mashed potato on top of each meat patty and pat into shape.

Turn the patty over and add a second layer of potato. The cakes should now resemble a burger in a bun, but with potato in place of the bun.

Melt a little butter in a pan and fry the cakes for 3-4 minutes on each side over a high heat, until nicely browned and starting to crisp. Transfer to a baking tray and warm through in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

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