Toddler portions

This was a useful tip I found in an Annabel Karmel weaning book so thought I’d share it. The actual recipe was for cottage pie made with minced raw meat, but I tend to mince the leftovers from a roast joint of lamb or beef and use that instead. No idea if it tastes better like this; I don’t eat meat!

So here is the remains of a piece of roast beef after the OH and LO have had some with Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes etc.

I then cut this up into smallish pieces and put through the mincer – mine is mostly plastic which I’ve found easier to clean than the all metal ones.

I then make it up into cottage pie base and top with mashed potato – place in appropriate container, cool down and into the freezer they go.

Here’s the cunning bit – Annabel Karmel’s recipe involves making it in ramekin dishes, which are the perfect size for a toddler portion. They are, but I’ve also got an OH to feed, so here we have a couple of man size portions and a couple of toddler size ones!

I did consider making a bigger one for both of them to share, but LO eats at nursery several days a week so it seemed more flexible to keep them separate and then defrost what was needed.

I usually get them out the freezer the night before and put in the fridge to defrost. They are then fine popped in the oven the following afternoon/evening – 200 degrees C for 20-30mins depending on the size.

These are brilliant on a work night or if you’ve got something else you need to be doing and this is the only time to do it – just put in oven, prepare some veg to do on the hob at the same time and you’ve got 25 mins or so to do something else. I also make a lentil version just for me 🙂

It’s also a pretty economical way to cook – I buy the smallest joint of meat I can, and find it will usually provide 3 x man portions and 3 x toddler portions, especially if you bulk it out a bit with lentils or kidney beans. And, of course, that also means at least two evenings when hardly any effort is required in cooking tea!

I try and freeze them in existing containers that will go in the oven ok, but if I don’t have enough I use the foil tray containers. Poundland seemed to be the cheapest supplier, but recommended washing them before using(?!) so I now use the Wilkos ones.

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