Beef mince on toast. From Toast

A Fergus Henderson dish for National Toast Day

Cook beef mince on toast courtesy of the carnivorous UK chef and restaurateur

It’s National Toast Day in Great Britain, and what better way to mark it than with a fully British recipe drawn from our new book Toast. Though the book is written by the talented author and recipe developer Raquel Pelzel, this particular inclusion is not the work of Pelzel herself but instead a submission by that stalwart of the London restaurant scene Fergus Henderson

Henderson’s beef mince on toast is a typically meaty offering which might not exactly be breakfast material but, on a day like today, would make for a great lunch or dinner. Here’s how you make it.


Toast author Raquel Pelzel
Toast author Raquel Pelzel


Beef mince

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced

1 medium leek, white and light green part only,  halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise

1 medium carrot, halved lengthwise and thinly  sliced crosswise

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 pounds (910 g) ground (minced) chuck (20% fat)

2 canned whole plum tomatoes or ¼ cup (60 ml)  canned (tinned) chopped tomatoes

⅓ cup (30 g) rolled oats

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce1½ cups (355 ml) dry red wine

¼ to ½ cup (60 to 120 ml) chicken stock or broth  (optional)

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 


Four 3/4inch (2 cm) thick slices Pullman loaf or wheat bread

4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) beef drippings or pan sauce from a roast (or softened butter, in a pinch)


Fergus Henderson of St John Bar and Restaurant
Fergus Henderson of St John Bar and Restaurant


To make the beef mince: In a large skillet (frying pan), heat the oil over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, leek, carrot, and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the onion is soft, 5–6 minutes. Crumble the beef into the pan and stir to mix it into the vegetables and break up the meat. Cook, stirring often, until the beef loses its pink color, 8–10 minutes

Crush the whole tomatoes in your hand and over the pan. While stirring, add the oats, followed by the Worcestershire sauce, and finally the wine. The sauce should be loose and thick (like lava); if the sauce is too thick, add enough chicken stock to make it lava-like. Stir in the salt and pepper, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally and adding stock if the pan goes dry, until the mixture looks rich and creamy and the fat separates out from the meat and rests at the surface of the mince, 1½–2 hours.

To make the toast: Toast the bread according to the instructions on pages 7–8. If you used the broiler (grill) method, leave the broiler on. Otherwise, adjust an oven rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the broiler to high. Spread the beef drippings over one side of each slice, then place the toast on a foil-lined baking sheet and broil until bubbling, 1–2 minutes. Serve with the mince spooned over the toast.

For more great ideas for sliced bread, get a copy of Toast here.