#HealthyRedMeat Challenge, Healthy Cottage Pie – Toddler Approved

September 13, 2017

Recently I signed up to a BritMums blogging #healthyredmeat challenge, they challenged a group of parenting bloggers to create a family recipe using lean red meat to inspire others to include red meat in their family diet. Red meat has been under the spotlight recently and as a result less families are eating it. The meat advisory panel have partnered with BritMums to promote red meat as part of a healthy diet. Red meat provides a range of nutrients that toddlers and children are often low on, such as iron,zinc,selenium,potassium and B vitamins. Public health nutritionist and mother, Dr Emma Derbyshire recommends including a small portion of red meat a few times a week into your child’s diet to help bridge the nutrient gaps and maintain good health through childhood and beyond.

I’m guilty of rarely eating red meat and as I do the meal planning it means nobody else eats it either. At my last midwife appointment it was found that my Iron levels are low and I know incorporating red meat into our meals will help with that. My sons favourite meal is cottage pie and I never make it for him, he is super happy to hear it’s on the meal plan this week!

Red meat based meals don’t have to be unhealthy, in fact this tried and trusted recipe was originally from the hairy dieters cookbook. It’s great for slimming world followers as the only thing that needs to be ‘syned’ is the half fat creme fraiche and any cooking oil you use.

The recipe is jam packed with veg, something my toddler hates, but as it’s all cooked in a tasty sauce she doesn’t notice and scoffs the lot! * if you little one is really fussy you could always cook the mince and the sauce ingredients separately then blend the sauce so as no veg can be detected.

Not only is this recipe healthy it is also very cost effective. I buy a large pack of mince and either make 2 cottage pies and freeze one for another time, or this week I plan to halve the mince and make spaghetti bolognese, which uses the same veg as the cottage pie. That’s 2 nutritious meals to feed a family of 4 plus plenty leftovers to freeze into toddler sized portions for around £10.


#Healthyredmeat – Cottage pie with added veg


Lean minced beef

2 medium onions, chopped

2 medium carrots, diced

2 celery sticks, finely sliced

400g tinned chopped tomatoes

2tbsp tomato purée

500ml beef stock, made with 1 stock cube

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp dried mixed herbs

Leeks potato topping

750g floury potatoes

2 slender leeks, trimmed and cut into 1cm slices

150g half fat crème fraiche


  • Place a large non stick pan over medium heat. Add the mince, onions, celery and Carrots and cook for 10 mins until lightly coloured, breaking the meat up as it cooks
  • Stir in the tomatoes, tomato purée, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce and mixed herbs. Season. Bring to the boil, cover loosely and simmer gently for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Whilst the mince is cooking, boil the potatoes until tender,drain and pop back in the pan with the Crème fraiche, season to taste and mash until smooth, set aside. Heat some oil in a non stick frying pan and fry the leeks for 5 mins until softened but not coloured then fold into the mash.
  • When the beef mixture has been cooking for 40 mins, it’s time to assemble. Pour the beef into a 2ltr shallow dish and top with the mash.


If you are eating this straight away, preheat your oven to 20°C/Fan 200°C/Gas 7, bake for 30 minutes until the topping is golden and the filling is bubbling.

Or if you are making this ahead which I always do, let the pie cool, cover and then put in the fridge. Cook from chilled in a preheated oven for 40-50 minutes until the pie is piping hot throughout.

*if the beef mixture is too runny you can thicken it with 4tsp of cornflour mixed with cold water and stir through the mix until it thickens. I’ve never found it to be too runny though.


The teenager thought it was awesome

Hubby said I would get the Paul Hollywood handshake (that’s a Great British Bake Off reference not anything dodgy!)

Toddler shovelled it in at record speed and didn’t once throw a piece of unwanted veg at me. Success!!

Amy x

*This post is an entry for BritMums #HealthyRedMeat, sponsored by the Meat Advisory Panel

2 responses to “#HealthyRedMeat Challenge, Healthy Cottage Pie – Toddler Approved”

  1. Kitty says:

    The look like they love this dish – commenting for myself and on behalf of BritMums and thanking you for taking part

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