Kids Cook Monday Recipe: Hearty Cottage Pie
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Cooking With Kids
Hearty Cottage Pie is simple enough that children can help or, if they're old enough, make on their own. Cottage Pie can be tailored to your family's preferences, making it a great recipe for children to experiment with.
Did You Know?
Cottage Pie and Shepherd's Pie are often confused. The difference is that Shepherd's Pie is made with lamb while Cottage Pie is made with beef.
Before You Start
Difficulty Rating: Easy!
- Pre-heat oven to 450 F
You will need:
- Can opener
- Skillet and spatula
- Cutting board and knife
- Cooking pot and potato masher
- 9 inch baking dish
- 1 lb Ground Beef
- 3 large Potatoes, mashed
- 1 can of Corn, drained
- Seasoning to taste
Your Child(ren)’s Participation
Younger Kids Can:
- Open the can(s)
- Shred cheese (if using)
Make gravy mix (if using)
- Add ingredients to baking dish
Older Kids Can:
- Peel and dice potatoes
- Chop garlic, mushrooms and onions (if using)
- Brown meat
For information on kitchen safety when cooking with children, read Setting Kitchen Rules.
Rosa’s Special Additions
I like gravy with my Cottage Pie, so I mix up 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with ½ cup of water and pour it over the meat before adding the corn.
Things to Try
- Shredded cheese in the mashed potato;
- Leave the skins on your potatoes;
- Use ground chicken instead of beef;
- Use sesame oil to brown your meat;
Add minced garlic to the ground meat when browning;
- Chopped mushrooms and onions fried with the ground meat;
- Mushroom soup added to the ground meat;
- Peas or mixed veggies instead of corn.
Cooking the Meat
- Heat the oil in skillet over medium heat;
- Brown the ground meat, seasoning to taste;
- Drain the grease from the skillet.
TIP: If you’re using mushrooms and/or onions, add a little butter to give the mushrooms an extra bit of tastiness.
Making Mashed Potatoes
- Wash, peel and dice the potatoes;
- Place in pot and rinse thoroughly;
- Fill pot with water and place over high heat;
- Boil until potatoes are soft;
- Drain water;
- Add butter and seasoning to taste. If you’re using shredded cheese, you can add some to the potatoes now.
Bringing It All Together
In a baking dish:
→ Put your ground meat on the bottom. If you're adding canned soup or a gravy mix, add it on top of the meat now;
→ Add the corn and spread it evenly;
→ Add the mashed potatoes on top and spread it evenly. If you're adding shredded cheese, spread it on top of the potatoes.
→ Bake at 450 for 30 minutes.
→ Remove from oven, cut into squares and serve.
This series was created to help parents bond with their kids while teaching them valuable skills. It includes tips, ideas and recipes.
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© 2012 Rosa Marchisella