Simple cottage pie

Being a family of five with an au pair comes with new challenges. Mealtimes can become challenging preparing several different meals not to mention costly. I never thought i’d become that mother who cooks a meal for all the family to enjoy but it’s fast becoming that way.

With little left in the fridge as Friday is Ocado delivery day, I was left with a pack of beef mince and a few potatoes which meant making my five year old’s favourite – meat and potato, know to the rest of us as cottage pie.

Over time, i’ve figured out my own simple version of the classic that takes about 30 minutes to prepare and is suitable for everyone from my 20 month old son to the adults and even the au pair!

I simply fry the mince up with some onion, garlic, salt and pepper and drain off the excess fat. Add in two stock cubes, a sprinkling of rosemary and thyme, a tablespoon of tomato purée and some cornflour to thicken the sauce and leave it all to simmer. Today I was feeling a bit sneaky so added in some frozen peas and corn.

While it’s simmering, I peel and then boil the potatoes for the mash topping. Drain them off after 15-20 minutes and mash them with a dollop of butter and some almond or coconut milk to make it really creamy.

Place the mince into an oven proof dish and spread the mash on top and then when you’re ready heat it up in the oven or serve straight away.

It’s a really simple dish and can be gluten and dairy free, although I put in a little butter you could use a dairy free spread instead.

Sometimes simple comfort food is best and I love making a really delicious meal when the fridge is looking relatively empty. Having said that, I don’t think my fridge is ever empty!! That’s one to work on any other time!