If you’re after a vege laden, budget and family friendly meal that is super easy to cook, check out our recipe below for Cottage Pie. It uses minimal dishes (also a win in my book!) and if you’ve got little ones that want to help out in the kitchen it’s an easy dish to get their help with the peeling and chopping of vegetables!
It’s one of the dishes that my children request the most and is the perfect dish to cook if you’re wanting to use up left over veges that you've got on hand that might be looking a little sad and past it!
This recipe is easily adapted to whatever your family needs, below is what we tend to follow but feel free to season to your tastes or your families requirements and cut out the butter/cheese/milk for the mash if you're dairy free!
- 500gm beef mince (we often reduce this to 300gm of beef mince and add in a can of lentils to boost the fibre and make it a little more budget friendly!)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 x onion, finely chopped
- 2 x carrots, finely diced
- 2 x celery sticks, finely diced
- 1 x 400gm can of chopped tomatoes
- 2 x garlic cloves (crushed)
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1C of beef stock (you may need to add a little more if your sauce reduces down too much)
- 1 Tbsp mixed herbs
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1C of chopped spinach or kale (feel free to use more if you have it and your kids will eat it!)
- 1.2kg potatoes
- 50gm butter
- 2 Tbsp milk
- 1C of grated cheese (we like a nice cheesy top but reduce this down if you wish!)
- Fry on a low-medium heat the chopped onion, carrot and celery. Add in the beef mince, stirring to break up and cook until browned.
- Add in the crushed garlic cloves and stir briefly before adding the canned tomatoes, tomato paste, beef stock and mixed herbs. Bring this to the boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. If using lentils, drain these and add at this point and season with salt & pepper also.
- Whilst the beef mixture is cooking, peel and chop the potatoes, bring to the boil in a pot of salted water and then cook until tender (approx. 15 minutes). Once tender, drain the potatoes, add the butter & milk and mash until smooth using a potato masher or fork. Season with salt & pepper.
- Once your beef mixture has thickened, add in the spinach or kale, cook for a further few minutes to wilt down and then remove from the heat.
- Transfer the beef mixture to an oven friendly dish, top with the mashed potato and spread this to cover the beef mixture with a fork. Scatter over the grated cheese and grill in the oven until golden brown.
Feel free to add in any other veges that you might have on hand such as leeks, peas or corn. We’ll often add some cauliflower into the mashed potato mix as well to increase the vegetable content more!
If we have any leftovers, our kids love taking them for lunch the next day, we just reheat in the morning and pop it in their insulated food jars to keep warm until lunchtime.
Enjoy and be sure to let us know if you make this dish!