Unbelievably Easy Mince Pies


To make the pastry, rub the butter into the flour, then mix in the sugar and a pinch of salt.

Combine the pastry into a ball – don’t add liquid – and knead it briefly.

The dough will be fairly firm, like shortbread dough. You can use the dough immediately, or chill for later.

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6/fan 180C. Line 18 holes of two 12-hole patty tins, by pressing small walnut-sized balls of pastry into each hole. Spoon the mincemeat into the pies.

Take slightly smaller balls of pastry than before and pat them out between your hands to make round lids, big enough to cover the pies. Top the pies with their lids, pressing the edges gently together to seal – you don’t need to seal them with milk or egg as they will stick on their own. (The pies may now be frozen for up to 1 month).

Brush the tops of the pies with the beaten egg. Bake for 20 minutes until golden. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack.

To serve, lightly dust with icing sugar. They will keep for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container.



  • 225g cold butter
  • diced 350g plain flour
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 280g mincemeat
  • 1 small egg, beaten
  • icing sugar , to dust

Tuna Steak with Tomato Salsa


For the marinade, strip the thyme leaves into a non-metallic dish with the oil and lemon juice. Season the tuna, then add to the dish. Cover and marinate for one hour, turning once.

Put the tomatoes, sweetcorn, coriander, onion, and pepper in a bowl. Squeeze one of the limes into the mixture and season. Leave to stand.

Heat a griddle pan. Cook the tuna for two to three minutes, turn, and brush with marinade. Griddle for two to three minutes more. The tuna should be rare in the centre.

Put the tuna on to four warmed plates. Serve the salsa and lime wedges on the side.



  • 4 skinless tuna steaks, about 250g each
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tomatoes, skinned, deseeded, and chopped
  • 200g canned sweetcorn, drained
  • Leaves from 1 bunch of coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 2 limes

For the marinade

  • 2–3 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Juice of 1⁄2 lemon