A simple mince beef and onion filling topped with Cobblers (cheesy scones) make this savoury mince cobbler a delicious and economical family dinner.
What is a (food) cobbler?
A cobbler in food terms is the name of a dish which has a sweet or savoury filling topped with scones or dumplings and it is said to have originated in the British American colonies. English settlers unable to make traditional suet puddings due to lack of European ingredients and cooking equipment, instead covered a stewed filling with a layer of uncooked plain scones (biscuits) or dumplings, fitted together to cover the top.
The origin of the name cobbler is uncertain but it may be due to the topping having the visual appearance of a ‘cobbled’ stone pathway rather than the ‘smooth’ paving of a rolled out pastry topping.
Cobblers evolved to take different forms and in the UK, a scone-topped cobbler has become the most common. It is found in both sweet and savoury versions and sometimes with just a simple ring of cobbles around the edge, rather than a complete layer.
As a Brit my cobblers have always been made with a scone mixture. When making savoury cobblers I will usually add some herbs, (soft leaf herbs such as parsley or chives or some dried herbs) or cheese as in this recipe here.
A cheap and easy family meal
- Cheap and cheerful
- Family Favourite
- Freezer friendly
This savoury mince dish is one that I used to make a lot especially when money was tight. Somehow it slipped off my list of regular dishes until I made it again a couple of weeks ago.
As soon as I made it again, I knew it was ideal for Recipes Made Easy, because its about as simple as it gets. Yet is incredibly tasty. Much easier than a pie but with that same degree of filling comfort food.
I don’t know if it is just the fun name but kids seem to like this dish too.
Most of the ingredients you need to make the filling apart from the mince you will likely to already have at home and the same goes for the cobbler topping.
To keep time in the kitchen down to a minimum I always get the beef filling cooking first then make the cobbler topping. By the time they are made the meat is cooked so its just a matter of putting it into the oven to bake the topping.
The cobbler is similar to a scone. The trick to getting a light and fluffy cobbler is to just knead the dough sufficiently to bring the ingredients together. If you overwork the dough the cobblers will become tough.
You can roll out the dough and cut out with round discs with a cookie cutter if you wish but I find it is easiest just to shape into a ball then flatten into a disc 2cm (1in) thick with your hands before cutting into wedges
Can be reheated and served the next day. Unlike the pastry on a pie I find that the cobbler topping reheats well in the microwave.
How to Freeze
The cobbler can be frozen before or after baking. Defrost fully before baking or reheating.
Serve with fresh vegetables such as carrots, peas, beans sugar snap peas or sweetcorn. For bigger appetites add some potatoes, mash goes really well.
More mince beef recipes made easy
- Spicy beef tacos
- Really easy beef and tomato pie
- Savoury mince and green beans
- Spicy Mexican soup
- Easy chilli
- Bolognese sauce
How to make savoury mince cobbler step by step
Savoury Mince Cobbler
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 500 g minced beef
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 300 ml beef stock
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
- 1 tsp Worcesteshire sauce (optional)
- 175 g self-raising flour
- 50 g butter cut into cubes
- 50 g cheddar cheese finely grated
- 5 tbsp milk
To make the savoury mince filling
- Heat 2tsp oil in a frying pan and gently fry 1 chopped onion until softened and begining to colour. Add 2 chopped garlic cloves and cook for another minute or two.
- Add 500g (1lb2oz) minced beef and cook over a medium high heat until browned, breaking up the mince with the side of the spoon as it cooks.
- Sprinkle over 2tbsp flour and stir in, then add 300ml (½pint) stock and bring to a simmer stirring. Add 1 tbsp tomato puree and 1 tsp herbs. Sprinkle with Worchestershire sauce if using and cook gently while preparing the topping, stopping to stir occasionally.
To make the Cobbler
- Preheat the oven to 200℃ (180℃ fan)/400°F/gas mark 6. Place 175g (6oz) flour in a bowl and add 50g (oz)butter. Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir 50g (2oz) cheese leaving a little to sprinkle on top and add enough milk (about 5 tbsp) to bring the mixture together to form a soft dough.
- On a lightly floured work surface form the dough into a ball then flatten with your hand into a circle until about 2cm (1in) thick. Cut into 8 wedges.
- Pour the mince mixture into an oven proof dish and arrange the cobblers on top. Sprinkle with the reserved cheese. Bake for 20 minutes until the cobblers have risen and are golden.