French Bean And Potato Pie


1 lb (450 g) fresh or frozen French beans
1 lb (500 g) floury potatoes
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 eggs
2 oz (50 g) grated Parmesan cheese
scant 1 tbsp chopped fresh marjoram leaves
1 clove garlic, peeled and grated
2 oz (60 g) sliced Mortadella
2 oz (50 g) butter
2 tbsp olive oil
approx. 3 oz (90 g) fine dry breadcrumbs
salt and pepper

serve with:

green salad tomato salad


1. Wash the potatoes under running cold water but do not peel them; steam for 30-40 minutes until very tender. Boil the trimmed beans in salted water for 20-25 minutes, until tender. Drain.

2. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) mark 6. Sweat the onion in 1 oz (30 g) of the butter and 1 tbsp of the oil for 20-25 minutes over an extremely low heat, stirring frequently, until it has almost disintegrated and is pale golden brown. As soon as the potatoes are done, spear them with a carving fork and peel them while they are still boiling hot; put through the potato ricer twice or push through a fine sieve into a large bowl.

3. Make sure you have drained every drop of water from the beans, place them in the food processor and process to a smooth puree. Mix this puree with the potatoes, adding the eggs and onion.

4. Place the Parmesan, marjoram, garlic and Mortadella in the food processor and process until completely blended; stir into the bean and potato mixture, seasoning with a little salt, plenty of freshly ground pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.

5. Oil a 9 1/2 in (24 cm) shallow cake tin or quiche dish (at least 1 1/2 in (4 cm) deep) and fill it with the prepared mixture, levelling the surface with a palette knife. Sprinkle the top with a layer of breadcrumbs, dot small flakes of the remaining butter over the surface and bake in the oven for 10 minutes; place under a very hot grill for about 3 minutes to crisp and brown the surface.

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