A minced beef and baked bean pie, topped with golden mashed potato, plus a secret layer of healthy greens.
This American bean pie is an all in one meal. The base is almost like a minced beef ragù, but bulked up with baked beans. Over the top of that, there’s a layer of winter greens or bright emerald kale, and finally it’s topped with plenty of buttery mashed potato, mixed with mashed carrots. At under £5 for the whole dish, it’s one of our best value family meals. And it feeds a family of six – or possibly four if you have hungry teens that want seconds. Not only that, it’s so packed with veggies that a portion comes in at only 352 calories.
- 400g lean minced beef
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 400g can whole tomatoes
- 1 tsp dried thyme, oregano or mixed herbs
- 400g can baked beans
- 1kg potatoes, peeled
- 1 large carrot, peeled
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 leek, about 250g (8oz), thinly sliced and rinsed
- 100g kale or winter greens, shredded
- 5 tbsp milk
- Knob of butter
- Salt and ground black pepper
Heat a large frying pan, add the mince in one layer and once it has browned, add the onion and fry for 10 mins, stirring it occasionally, breaking it up with a spoon. Drain off the fat.
Stir in the chopped tomatoes, herbs and 300ml (½ pint) hot water. Bring to the boil and simmer, uncovered, for 20 mins. Stir in the baked beans. Spoon into the dish.
Meanwhile, set the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Cut the potatoes and carrot into chunks, and cook with the garlic in boiling salted water until tender. Steam the leek and greens over the top, or place them in a bowl and cook in the microwave for a few mins.
Spoon the greens over the mince. Drain the potato and carrot and return them to the pan. Add the milk and butter, season and mash well. Spoon the mash over the greens and roughen the top with a fork. Put the dish on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20-25 mins until really hot.
Top tip for making this American bean pie
If you don't fancy baked beans in your pie, use peas instead. Add a good dash of Worcestershire sauce and 200g frozen peas into the mince and tomato while it's bubbling away. To cut the cost, swap the minced beef for minced pork, which tends to be about 25% cheaper. You can still get lean versions of it too.