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Mary Berry’s Beef and Aubergine Crunchy Top Filo Pie

Finished with a crisp and golden filo topping, Mary Berry's simple beef and aubergine pie couldn't be easier to make. As seen on Mary Makes It Easy, BBC 2.

From the book

Introduction

A great dish for a gang – make it ahead and bake it to serve. You can replace the aubergine with courgettes, if preferred. Using filo pastry makes it a very easy topping. Freeze any leftover filo; just wrap it up well and it’ll be ready for another occasion.

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Ingredients

4 tbsp sunflower oil
2 onions, diced
400g (14oz) lean minced beef
3 garlic cloves, finely grated
1 tbsp tomato purée
2 × 400g tins chopped tomatoes
½ tsp sugar
2 small aubergines, cut into slices 1cm (½in) thick
1 × 280g tub full-fat cream cheese
4 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
1 tbsp freshly chopped thyme
For the filo topping:
4 large sheets of filo pastry
30g (1oz) butter, melted

Essential kit

You will need: a shallow round dish about 28cm (11in) wide (with a capacity of about 1.75 litres/3 pints).

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas 6 and line a large baking sheet with non-stick baking paper. You will also need a shallow round dish about 28cm (11in) wide (with a capacity of about 1.75 litres/3 pints).

Heat half the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and fry for 3–4 minutes. Add the mince and brown over a high heat, breaking up with two wooden spoons as it fries. Add two thirds of the garlic and fry for 30 seconds. Stir in the purée, chopped tomatoes and sugar, mix well and cover with a lid. Bring up to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 hour until tender.

Meanwhile, arrange the aubergine slices on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle with the remaining oil. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and roast in the preheated oven for about 20–25 minutes, turning halfway through, until lightly brown and soft.

Spoon the cream cheese into a bowl and mix with the remaining garlic and half the parsley. Season well.

Season the mince and stir in the thyme and the remaining parsley. Spoon half into the base of the round dish, then arrange a single layer of aubergine slices on top. Dot the cream cheese mixture over the aubergine and spread out a little. Top with the remaining mince.

Place the filo pastry on a work surface. Brush each sheet with melted butter, then cut the sheets in half, so you have eight pieces of filo.

Roughly scrunch the sheets and arrange them on top of the pie to cover the surface completely. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25–30 minutes, until the pastry is crisp and brown and the mince is bubbling.

Mary’s Tips: Can be assembled up to 8 hours ahead. Not suitable for freezing.

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