Cottage Pie

A classic with an allergen-free twist!  Feel free to substitute some or all of the carrot with another veg – or add more veg – I find it a good way to sneak extra in!  I often grate the inside of a broccoli stalk, parsnips when in season or add a couple of handfuls of spinach for example.  Serve with green veg.

Serves 6-8 generously

For the pie filling:

  • 2 large onions
  • 3 carrots
  • 1kg minced beef
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1-litre beef stock
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves

For the mashed potato:

  • 6 large potatoes (approx. 1kg)
  • Dairy-free milk (we used 150ml oat milk)
  • Dairy-free spread (we used 2 tbsp)
  1. Prepare the onion, carrot and other veg, if using, and put to one side.  See the Team Tip below.
  2. Heat a frying pan until very hot and add half of the meat.  You will know the pan is hot enough if it makes a sizzling noise when the meat goes in.  There is no need to put oil in the pan beforehand.  Leave the meat until it is brown then turn it over.  When it is nicely coloured (it doesn’t not have to be cooked through) put the meat to on a plate to one side.  Repeat with the rest of the meat.
  3. Once all the meat has been removed from the pan, reduce the heat under the frying pan. Depending on how much fat is left in the pan from the mince, you may need to add a bit of vegetable oil.  Add the onion and stir regularly until the onion is soft but not coloured.   Add the cinnamon, carrot, and other vegetables if using, and leave to cook for a minute.
  4. Return the meat to the frying pan and add the tomato paste and cornflour. Stir together.
  5. Add the beef stock, thyme and bay leaves.
  6. Cook the mixture for 30-40 mins with the lid off.  Preheat the oven to 180C.
  7. Peel and cut the potatoes into small cubes.  Boil in a pan of salted water for 20 mins until soft.  Drain the potatoes.  Add dairy-free milk, spread and seasoning to taste.  Mash.
  8. Put the pie mix into an ovenproof casserole dish, top with mashed potato and put in the oven for 30 mins or until the potato tinges brown on top.

Team Tip!

I grate the onions and carrots for this recipe as I think it makes it more palatable for children. I have also found that grating vegetables is a good way of involving my boys in making supper without having to hover over them to ensure that the end result is small enough and uniform.

**Always check the ingredients of any food you’re cooking with to make sure it doesn’t contain something you or your child should avoid.

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