Thursday, 25 June 2015

Two dish batch cooking

Because of T's cow's milk allergy, I cook a lot of his meals from scratch so that I know exactly what is in them. 

To make things easier, I batch cook, but I also make more than one dish at once, especially if they have similar ingredients. 

Here, I'll show you a quick and easy way to make one-pot beef bolognese, and cottage pie with minimal fuss. 


These ingredients are used in both dishes:
200g good quality minced beef 
1 large white onion
2 stalks celery
1 medium carrot
2-3 tbsp Organic rapeseed or olive oil

Additional ingredients for Bolognese:
2 or 3 closed cup mushrooms
1 garlic clove, crushed
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
100mls water
75g pasta stars

Additional ingredients for Cottage Pie
1 leek, chopped
1 beef stock cube
300mls water
1 tbsp tomato puree 
1 medium potato 
(optional - 1 tsp yeast extract) 

Right - you need to be fairly organised, but you can easily get several meals out of this which can be frozen for later. 

1. Chop the onion, celery and carrot finely, divide half each into two saucepans and lightly pan fry in oil until soft.


2. Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the vegetables: chop the mushrooms, potato, pepper and leek. Add the vegetables to their respective saucepans, and pan fry for a further 5 minutes on a low heat. 
3. Divide the minced meat into half, and add to each saucepan. Turn the heat up briefly to ensure the meat is cooked through. 
4. To the cottage pie, add the tomato puree, then add the water and stock cube, (and yeast extract if you are using it). Stir well, cover and simmer for  30minutes, until cooked. 
5. Pour tinned tomatoes into the bolognese. After about 20minutes, add the pasta stars and water, and continue to cook for another 10minutes, until the pasta is done. 

Younger children can have this pureed, and older babies you can either leave as it is or mash as appropriate. 

Allow to cool, and check temperature before serving.

Bolognese - ready for my nearly 8 month old
Cottage pie - mashed and with a few peas thrown in 

Top tips and alternatives
You can make these dishes vegetarian by replacing the beef with lentils and using vegetable stock. 

Leave the pasta stars out of the bolognese sauce, and cook 50g per serving separately for baby. Put another pan of salted water on for your pasta and you have a dish you can both enjoy. 

Leave the potato out of the cottage pie. Make mashed potato separately with non-dairy milk and butter substitute. Put the meat base into an oven proof dish, spoon the mash potato on top, and heat in the oven for 30mins to have a meal for the whole family. 

See more of my dairy free recipes. 

Always supervise your child eating. 

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