Anytime I make something that even marginally resembles pie my husband is ecstatic. If it were up to him, he’d probably eat pie every night for dinner. Well, maybe every other night, alternating with pizza of course.
This shepherd’s pie is great for kids. It’s low-salt, packed with veggies and lentils and is also topped with a smooth and creamy mashed potato that almost all kids love.
If you can manage to sneak them in, lentils are a great addition to your child’s diet. They’re a really rich source of dietary fibre and lean protein and are also loaded with nutrients including folate, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin and vitamin K.
If your baby is just new to solids too you can just save off a bit of mashed potato and make the pie for the rest of the family.
This freezes really well and I generally make up one medium sized pie and several other single serve pies that are easy to take for work lunches or use as quick dinners during the week.
Otherwise, this recipe will make one large pie.
As always, I’m super keen to hear how you went trying out my recipes and if you have any feedback! You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* 500g beef mince
* 1 medium zucchini
* 2 medium carrots
* 2 medium sticks of celery
* 1 red onion
* 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
* 2 cloves garlic
* 1 and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves or five sprigs of fresh thyme leaves
* 2 cups reduced salt beef stock
* 2 cups water
* 1/2 cup whole green lentils
* 1-2 tablespoons no-added-salt tomato paste
* 1 tablespoon cornflour
* 900g white potatoes
* 3-4 tablespoons milk
* Knob of butter
* 2 pieces of wholemeal toast
* 50g salt-reduced cheese
1. Finely dice onion and celery and set aside in a bowl.
2. Chop carrots and zucchini into 1cm pieces.
3. Heat oil in a large saucepan (I use a le crusset).
4. On medium-high heat, brown onion, celery and garlic.
5. Add mince to mixture and stir until browned.
6. Add carrots and zucchini and mix for several minutes until vegetables begin to soften.
7. Pour stock and water into mixture and stir.
8. Mix through tomato paste.
9. Add lentils and 1 teaspoon of dried thyme leaves or four sprigs worth of fresh leaves.
10. Cover with a lid and simmer on low heat for 45 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
11. While mixture is cooking, grate cheese.
12. Place toast in a food processor and mix until it resembles breadcrumbs. Alternatively if you don’t have a food processor chop toast finely.
13. Toss bread, cheese and remaining thyme leaves in a bowl and set aside.
14. Peel potatoes and cut into quarters. Place in a saucepan of boiling water and cook for 15 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
15. Drain potatoes and return to saucepan. Mash potatoes with butter and milk.
16. Mix cornflour with one tablespoon of water in a small bowl.
17. Remove lid from saucepan at the 45 minute mark and add cornflour mixture.
18. Pre-heat fan-forced oven to 180C.
19. Stir meat mixture and turn up heat to medium. Cook uncovered for another 15-20 minutes or until mixture has thickened and is consistent with pie mixture.
20. Fill a pie dish 3/4 full with meat mixture.
21. Top with mashed potato, followed by cheese and breadcrumb mixture.
22. Cook in oven for 30 minutes or until cheese topping is golden and pie is heated all the way through.
* You can also use pre-packaged breadcrumbs if you are short on time but make sure to check the ingredients to check for any added sugar.
* If feeding this to very small babies who are new to solids, process a bit of the pie in a food processor or mash with a stick blender before serving. You can also grate the vegetables rather than chopping them.
* This freezes really well.