Shepherd’s pie or cottage pie has got to be one of most people’s favourite comfort foods, so I thought I should introduce the little dude to it. Again, you’ll see I’ve added a few dried apricots and sweet potato, this is just to add a little sweetness for him, but as he gets older, I’ll hope to be able to omit them. I also added some lentils as they are a good source of iron, but again I’ll probably omit these as he gets older. Also try and use fresh herbs, they really do add so much flavour. I’ve added courgettes to this, only because we had some in the garden that I wanted to use up, but I would normally add peas. I think any green veggies would be fine, so use whatever you’ve got in the fridge or garden. Finally you could easily turn this into a Bolognese, by simply adding some mushrooms and a tin of tomatoes, by omitting the sage and thyme and instead using fresh basil and a little dried oregano and serving with pasta instead of potatoes.
For the meat part -
½ pack of good quality beef mince (you could use lamb for a shepherd’s pie)
1 baby beef stock or very low salt stock cube or water
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
½ small sweet potato, peeled and finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 courgette, finely chopped (or peas)
Handful of red lentils
1 large garlic clove, crushed
½ tsp of Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp of tomato puree
Fresh thyme leaves and parsley chopped
For the mash -
3-4 potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp cream cheese
Small knob of unsalted butter
Put the potatoes on to boil in a pan of water.
Meanwhile brown the mince in a tsp of sunflower oil, then leave aside.
Next add the onion, celery and garlic to the same pan with a little more sunflower oil if required. Sweat them slowly over a medium heat.
Next toss in the rest of the veggies and the apricots and allow to soften.
Add the mince back in, followed by the stock, herbs, tomato puree and lentils and allow to simmer gently for 15-20 mins until everything is tender and the sauce is thickened and rich.
Once the potatoes are soft, drain and allow to steam in the pan with the lid on for a few mins.
Add in the butter and cream cheese and mash well. I passed the mash through a sieve to get it really smooth, but mash it to whatever consistency your baby is able for.
Whizz the mince mix with a hand blender or in the processor to the desired consistency, then portion into freezable pots with the mince mix on the bottom and the mash on the top. Then freeze or serve.