Blend the meat mixture until smooth then stir in some of the mashed potato.
Give your baby pieces of chopped up carrot, squash, turnip from the pie and let your baby scoop up the potato with his hands (messy, but satisfying for him).
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions, finely chopped
1kg beef mince
salt and freshly ground white pepper
2 large carrots, cut into small cubes
1 small squash, cut into small cubes
1 small turnip, cut into small cubes
1 litre hot beef stock or 2 tsp Bovril dissolved in 1 litre boiling water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the potato topping:
500g Maris Piper potatoes
50g unsalted butter
100ml full-fat milk
This is a great dish if you’ve got a few busy days ahead of you as it can easily be made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to four days. With all the root vegetables in it, there is no need to serve other vegetables
Put the olive oil in a heavy-based casserole dish and when it is hot, add the onion and fry until golden but not browned.
Add the mince and fry over a hot heat until browned. Season with salt and pepper, then add the carrots, squash and turnip. Add the stock or Bovril, reduce the heat and simmer for about 1½ hours until the beef is tender. Alternatively, put the lid on the casserole dish and bake in a preheated oven for about 1 hour at 180ºC/Gas 4.
Meanwhile, make the potato topping. Peel and cut the potatoes into quarters and put in a pan with salt and cold water to cover. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender.
Drain and mash with the butter and milk. Leave the mash slightly wetter than normal as it will dry when baked.
When the mince is cooked, transfer it to a 1.5kg deep pie dish and pipe the mashed potatoes on top. Alternatively you can use a palette knife to spread the potatoes evenly on top, then drag a fork over from side to side, creating little ridges. These will crisp when baked to give a lovely crunchy topping.
Bake at 200ºC/Gas 6 for 25 minutes if you’re cooking the pie straight away or at 180ºC/Gas 4 for one hour if you’re baking it from cold.
This recipe is from Kitchen Garden Cookbook: A Year of Italian Scots Recipes by Carina Contini (Frances Lincoln, £25).