Mini Cottage Pies are a great way to introduce red meat to a baby or toddler. There’s also something very comforting, and unintimidating about them, unlike a steak. I think it may be the combination of the potato & carrot mash, that gives it that ‘comfort food’ feeling
I put chopped carrots into a saucepan, cover them with boiling water, and cook for 5 minutes. I then add chopped potatoes and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
While the carrots and potatoes are cooking, I heat olive oil in a skillet, and sauté chopped onion and bell peppers for 3 to 4 minutes. I add crushed and chopped garlic and sauté for 1 minute. At this point in time, because the red bell peppers have the skins on them, I place the peppers and onions in a food processor and chop them up very fine. I then return them back to the hot pan. At this time, I add lean ground beef, season with ground black pepper, and sauté until browned. I prefer the slightly more chunky ground beef, so I no longer add it to the food processor as I originally did when I first introduced this recipe.
I then add fresh chopped parsley, tomato paste, and homemade chicken broth, and bring it to a boil, then I cover it and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, once the potatoes and carrots are cooked, I strain and mash them with milk and butter.
I spoon the meat into small ramekins, and topp with the mashed potato and carrot. I brush them with a little beaten egg, then heat them through in an oven preheated to 350F, then under a preheated broiler until lightly golden.