You might have heard of stuffing marrows with minced beef, but you can also stuff smaller courgettes. If you can get yellow ones as well as green, all the better, they make colourful chimney pots next to a pile of creamy mashed potatoes.
Ingredients 3 courgettes (a mix of yellow and green)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cloves of garlic
500g minced beef steak
750 ml beef stock
100 ml red wine
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed herbs
The first step in this recipe is to make the minced beef base that you'll use to stuff the courgettes. Minced beef is a really versatile ingredient that can be used in many recipes from chilli to spaghetti bolognaise. In this recipe, you need a really flavoursome spice to go with the courgette, and I find that cinnamon is perfect.
First, heat the oil in large, heavy-bottomed pan.
Dice the onion.
Peel the garlic cloves and then crush them, and add them to the pan with onion.
Cook gently until the onion is transparent.
Add the minced beef to the pan and brown the meat.
Once the meat is browned, you can optionally add a cup of red wine at this stage. Reduce it down before adding the stock.
Dice the carrots.
Cut the courgettes into thirds, set aside 8 of these thirds and dice the last one.
Make up the beef stock and add it to the pan, along with the cinnamon and the mixed herbs.
Add the carrots and the diced courgette to the pan.
Simmer over a low heat for an hour, or until the stock is almost entirely reduced.
Meanwhile, prepare the courgettes by coring them so you have a hollow, chimney-shaped shell. As you go, add the insides you have scooped out into the pan.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Brush a baking tray with oil, and then arrange the courgettes on the tray, sitting vertically on one end.
Fill each courgette with the mince mixture, packing it down solidly with a teaspoon.
Cook in the oven for 30 minutes, and then serve with mashed potatoes.