Bolognese beef pot

Lemon and fennel bring wonderfully fresh flavours to familiar braised beef mince in this Italian–inspired dish, making this as good for al fresco summer dining as for a light supper on a winter evening. Serve plenty of bread to mop up the tangy tomato sauce, plus a crisp leafy salad.

Bolognese beef pot


  • 350 g extra lean beef mince
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 600 g potatoes, scrubbed and finely diced
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes, about 400 g each
  • 150 ml chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • finely shredded zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon soft light brown sugar
  • 1 bulb of fennel, thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup (90 g) frozen green beans
  • salt
  • pepper
  • chopped leaves reserved from the fennel bulb
  • chopped fresh parsley


  1. Place the beef mince, onion and garlic in a large saucepan and cook over a moderate heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mince is broken up and evenly browned.
  2. Stir in the potatoes, tomatoes with their juice, stock, half the lemon zest, the sugar and a little seasoning.
  3. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cover the pan.
  4. Simmer the mince and vegetable mixture for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice to ensure that the potatoes cook evenly.
  5. Stir in the fennel, frozen beans and lemon juice.
  6. Cover the pan again and simmer for a further 5 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the fennel and beans are lightly cooked, but still crisp.
  7. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary, then spoon the mixture into serving bowls.
  8. Garnish with the remaining lemon zest, the chopped fennel leaves and parsley.

Serves 4
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes



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