I saw this, or something very similar, described in a visit to a National Trust house - I love looking in the old kitchens too. It is not Cornish and I would imagine it is the sort of dish that would have been served to the downstairs folk. Even so, it is delicious and very easy. I would serve this any time, especially on a Sunday. A great one pot dish.
to serve 4-5: You will need a med-large ovenproof casserole dish, at least 2½ - 3 inches deep.
For the meats I used beef skirt, pork shoulder and lamb steaks. You can substitute the beef for veal if you wish. Above all, get all the prep done before you start!
Pre heat your fan oven to 170C
1½ lbs mixed meats, pork, lamb and beef, diced
a small spoonful of plain flour, in a poly bag, seasoned
dripping or oil to fry
2 medium onions or 1 large, diced
2-3 carrots, diced
3 sticks celery, finely chopped
about a ¼ of a swede, diced
¾ pint good beef or lamb stock
1 dessertspoonful red currant jelly
2 tablespoons pearl barley
2 tablespoons fresh herbs of your choice e.g. parsley, chives, thyme.
a dash of Worcestershire sauce
Potatoes - about 1½ - 2 lb - I like a good all rounder like Desiree
2 oz grated strong mature cheddar - like Davidstow
Prepare the vegetables, the dice being not too small or too large. Lots of pics on my Blog. Toss the diced meats in the flour and shake well. Mix the stock with the jelly and Worcestershire sauce.
Take a large fry pan and add some oil or fat of your choice. In the olden days it would have been dripping, of course. When the pan is hot, fry the veggies until they are soft, but not coloured. Transfer the veg to your casserole dish. Now make sure your pan is very hot and brown the meats, making sure you keep it moving and scrape up all the bits off the bottom. Tip in the stock, pearl barley and the herbs then season well. Tip all this into the dish with the veg and mix well.
Meanwhile peel the potatoes and slice them fairly thinly [use a mandolin if you have one - so handy] and arrange them on the top of the meats, as neatly as you can. Cover with foil and pop into your pre heated oven for about 1½ hours. Remove the foil and sprinkle over the cheese, then pop the dish back in the oven for another 30 mins until the cheese is brown and bubbly.
Allow to cool for 10 mins before serving, crusty bread is a great add-on to mop up any juices, plus a green veg of your choice. Perfect.
This dish can be prepared in the morning or even the day before up to the point where you add the cheese. I also cannot see why it can’t be frozen at this stage too. Just bring back to heat before adding the cheese.