OK, so I lied. I don't think I can technically call this Shepherds Pie because it contains beef mince rather than lamb's mince. It's probably more of a Cottage Pie truth be told. To me Shepherds Pie was always a beef mince situation, so it's all gravy. See what I did there?
I generally like to have about three different meals in the freezer for Billy. Just so we have a bit of choice you know? I hate giving him the same thing twice in a row purely because I don't like having the same thing two days in a row myself. Simples. Even if it's just one of each dish in the freezer I feel better. It's like my little security blanket so that if our dinner isn't baby-friendly or the day doesn't go to plan we still have a healthy homemade dinner at the ready for Billy. It's just a case of defrosting it.
I was rummaging through the freezer yesterday and realised that all I had was tomato based dishes at the moment. There was some Spagetti Bolognese and some sweet sausage, butterbean and paprika casserole (sounds fancier than it is, SO easy to make). My OCD kicked in and I knew I needed to make something a bit different. He had just finished the last lot of the beef stew that I made a couple of weeks ago and had froze, so it felt like a good time to introduce another beef dish.
I had a little treasure hunt around the kitchen and realised I had the makings of a Shepherds Pie. It felt right. I kind of made it up as I went along and it worked out beautifully. I didn't plan it, but there ended up being leftovers which have been stashed away for the other half's lunches for work.
So here's how to make it. Now, this recipe uses reduced salt gravy granuales. It's only a tiny bit and the amount of salt in each portion would be very small, but you could of course use salt-free baby stock cubes or an alternative but I recently decided that these are pretty flavourless. They were great in the early days but I'm enjoying adding as much flavour as possible to Billy's meals these days so I haven't really been using them any more. Don't get me wrong, if I'm in Boots I will pick them up because they are handy for casseroles and stews. I tend to use tomato based sauces these days though, or using some of the cooking water from the vegetables and adding herbs and spices to create the "sauce". For this reason I didn't have any issue with adding a small amount of reduced salt gravy to this dish because it's 99% goodness and I never add salt to anything that I cook Billy.
Enough babbling, here's the recipe.
You Will Need
1 Packet Of Extra Lean Steak Mince
1 Courgette, One Onion and Three Carrots (OR whatever vegetables you fancy using).
Two Teaspoons Of Reduced Salt Gravy Granuales
Black Pepper and any seasoning of your choice. I added some of this.
Dash Of Worchester Sauce.
4/5 Large Potatoes. Roosters work well.
200ml of warm water
Grated Cheddar Cheese To Serve.
- Brown Mince in a saucepan for a couple of minutes
- Peel and Chop Potatoes and place in a pot of boiling water to cook.
- Chop vegetables and add to pan of mince and stir every couple of minutes.
- When Mince and vegetables have cooked, add black pepper, Worchester sauce and any other seasoning you wish to use.
- Add the reduced salt gravy granuales to the pan and mix through.
- Add the water (warm kettle water) and stir through.
- Cover saucepan with a lid and simmer for 5-10 minutes to allow sauce to form and thicken.
- When potatoes have cooked mash with some butter, dash of milk and some black pepper.
- Assemble little mini Shepherds Pies by spooning some of the meat/veg mixture in tot he bottom of your dish or container, cover in mashed potato and top with some grated cheddar cheese. Usually this would be the point that you would put it all in to one big oven dish and then finish in the oven but I don't do this as there is no need to crisp up the potato when it's for Billy. Another reason why this recipe is quick and easy.