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Loaded Cottage Pie

After a long weekend away, I like to come home and making something wholesome, healthy and perfect as leftovers to get a head start on the week ahead. This pie is perfect to 'load up' with whatever vegetables you like or need to use up. It is very toddler friendly, great for babies too (who can handle lumps and some seasoning) and the adults love it also. 
How is it loaded? We have bulked out the beef mince by using brown lentils-you could use lentils on their own just as easily. It is easy to get a vast range of vegetables in this, we have used spinach, carrot, peas, celery, leek, onion, garlic and corn but so many others including zucchini, eggplant, silverbeet, kale or even capsicum would work well. Use a range of colours for a range of vitamins.You could top with sweet potato if preferred which would increase the vitamin A and offer a lower GI.
Serves 4 plus leftovers
Ingredients:
  • 1 x brown onion diced
  • 1 x leek chopped finely
  • 2 x garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 x carrot diced or grated
  • 2 x sticks of celery diced
  • 500g beef mince
  • 1 can of brown lentils(no added salt) rinsed and drained
  • 60g of baby spinach or frozen spinach if you prefer
  • 1 cup of corn and peas
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste (no added salt)
  • 1 cup of bone broth or quality stock 
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped rosemary/thyme or use t sp of dried herbs
  • 4 potatoes peeled and quartered
  • 40g butter
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • Parmesan for top (optional)

Process:

  • Preheat oven to 200 C fan forced.
  • In a large frypan, saute the onion, leek, carrot and celery until softened in some olive oil.
  • Add the mince beef and cook stirring to get rid of lumps and brown evenly.
  • Add garlic and tomato paste and fry for 2 minutes until aromatic.
  • Add bone broth or stock, Worcestershire sauce, dried herbs and let it reduce until sauce has thickened around 15 minutes.
  • Add peas, corn and baby spinach for the last few minutes of cooking time. Season well (if serving to babies avoid salt and season individually)
  • In the meantime, ccok the potatoes in boiling salted water until tender and ,drain. Mash using a potato masher (or ricer). Add butter, mash further. Add milk and let to sit to warm and then mash until smooth and creamy using extra milk if required. Season with salt and pepper as required.
  • In a large pie tray, add mince mixture and top with the mashed potato giving it a rough finish with a fork and grate some Parmesan on top.
  • Bake in oven for another 15 minutes or until brown.
  • Serve with broccoli.

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