Wednesday, 14 January 2015

RECIPE: Meals for the whole family - Easy Shepherd's Pie and Lasagne

At the core of Baby Led Weaning philosophy is the ability to cook meals that everyone can eat. To be honest, it doesn't usually work like that in our house because if I cook a big batch of something I tend to freeze most of it to use on my lazy chef days (of which there are many!)

However, there are a few dishes that we sit down and eat together -  hearty, comforting meals that I've adapted to make more baby friendly. Here are a couple of our favourites...

Note - Salt content can vary by brand so I check all ingredients carefully before use


EASY SHEPHERD'S PIE


YOU'LL NEED:
1 onion
1 large carrot
500g lamb mince
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 tin low salt & sugar baked beans OR 1/2 cup peas
Approx 1kg white potatoes
Knob unsalted butter
Splash whole milk
125g cheddar cheese, grated

Optional for adult only version (see point 3 below) - 2 tsp gravy granules.

METHOD:
1. Peel and slice the potatoes. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes while the filling is being prepared 
2. Finely chop the onion and carrot. Add to a pan with the lamb mince and fry until the meat is cooked through. (lamb is quite fatty so I don't put any extra oil in the pan)
3. Add the Worcestershire sauce, herbs and peas OR beans. Using beans makes the pie sweeter and creates more sauce. If I use peas I tend to split baby's filling into a separate dish and add some gravy granules to the adult version to make a richer sauce
4. Spoon the filling into the dish (or dishes)
5. Add the butter and milk to the potatoes and mash until smooth. Spoon on top of the filling and use a fork to make rough lines in the top
6. Sprinkle the cheese on top
7. Bake for about 30 minutes at Gas 6 until the cheese is melted and potatoes are golden.


LASAGNE


YOU'LL NEED:
500g beef mince
1 tin green lentils
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 medium onion
10 button mushrooms
3 garlic cloves
Approx 6-8 dried lasagne sheets (depending on the shape of the dish)
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
100ml water
1 cube baby vegetable stock (i.e. low salt)
1 tbs tomato puree 

300ml whole milk
30g butter
30g plain flour
Handful grated cheddar

 METHOD:
1. Finely chop the onion and garlic. Add to a pan with the mince, fry until the meat is cooked
2. Add the mushrooms, drained washed lentils, tomatoes, herbs, tomato puree and stock cube dissolved in water
3. Simmer gently for 10 minutes, add more water if it gets too dry
4. Layer lasagne into the dish, then half the meat mixture, followed by another layer of lasagne (laid in the opposite direction), then the rest of the mixture. Finish with a final layer of lasagne (laid in the same direction as the first layer) but don't put this on until your sauce is ready otherwise the heat from the mixture below will make it curl at the edges
5. In a new pan, heat the butter and flour gently, stirring all the time until they are well mixed
6. Pour in the milk, whisk until just boiling and the sauce has thickened
7. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the cheese
8. Pour the mixture over the top layer of lasagne. I sometimes sprinkle some more cheese on top but tend not to when cooking for baby to keep the salt content as low as possible
9. Cook at Gas Mark 7 for 30-40 minutes until bubbling and golden on top.

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