Marc has just turned to 1 year old. He is now showing huge interest of our food but sometimes not all food is suitable for him yet. So I have to try to cook something that is toddlers-friendly but also tasty for the rest of the family.
Searching what ingredients I had at home, I fansied to make cottage pie for him. However, the traditional cottage pie is too heavy and dark brown most of the time, and lack of vegetables. I stumbled the recipe by Annabel Karmel, and her mini cottage pie sounds healthy and easy to prepare. I like the idea of using mini ramekins so I can freeze some of them. I used the medium ramekins for adults and the smallest ramekins for Marc. The following recipe made 3 medium and 2 small portions.
Adapted from Annabel Karmel
- 400g small potatoes, boiled, peeled
- 100g carrots, boiled, finely chopped
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 100g zucchini, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 150g minced beef or pork
- 300 ml Tomato puree (without pepsins)
- 150ml beef stock (I like Knorr stock pot)
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- handful Fresh thyme
- 1/2 tbsp dried provencal herbs
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Grape seed oil or extra virgin olive oil
- a knob of butter
- about 150ml milk
- Prepare the above ingredients as mentioned above.
- In a pan, heat some oil and add in the garlic, cook for a few minutes and then add in the onion, keep stirring for a few minutes until translucent. Then add in the minced meat and followed by carrots and zucchini. Stir until the meat is cooked.
- Pour in the tomato puree and beef stock, worcestershire sauce and herbs. Bring the sauce to boil and let it simmer for about 40 mins or until the sauce is reduced and thickened. In the meantime, prepare the mash potatoes by adding a knob of butter and milk, mash with a potato masher until it is creamy, add more if necessary (I used a bit more to make the mash not so dry, easier for Baby Marc to swallow).
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- When the sauce is ready, divide it to the ramekins, fill up to two-thirds, then layer the mash potatoes on top.
- Put the ramekins in the middle rack of the oven for about 20 mins.
- Sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese on top and put under the grill for 5 mins until the cheese melts and turns to golden yellow.
- Serve immediately but for toddlers let it cool down before feeding.
I used the thyme in our garden but the plant is already in its 3rd year therefore, the branches are thick. To save time, instead of picking the the leaves, I washed them thoroughly, dip the branches and let them cooking for 5 minutes so the thyme aroma could be infused into the sauce.