Thursday, May 29, 2014

Cottage pie with potato and sweet potato topping

My boys are suffering from hand foot and mouth disease.  Due to the sores in the mouth, their appetites are a bit low.  I made a cottage pie for dinner , its healthy packed with protein and vegetables and carbs from  the potato.
I had some sweet potatoes , so I used it instead along with an extra potato  to make the mash topping. I added some red lentils in the last minute as the amount of meat I had was too little.

Hand foot and mouth disease  , starts with high fever on the first day, second day you think he is fine and then the rash starts to show, my son complained of sore throat, and slight pain  on the soles of the feet, The rash, appeared on the elbows( the ones of the elbows and knees looked like more like blisters) ,hands ,  and reddish spots on the soles of the feet. There is nothing much to do,  poor kid had to suffer through it, just gave medicine for fever and   kept him on lots of fluids and thanks to my  sick day porridge and other soft food like this pie, my little guy  ate okay.

 I read  (here )that  the best things to give during hand foot is  cold ice creams and lollies to soothe the sore throats ,  slightly soft food and less spicy food  Now little guy is better and ready for school , little fussy one is just starting with the rash/blisters and he is more fussier , when it comes to food than his older brother, although he seems very excited with his  rash!!!!. He kept showing it to anyone who came into our house,( although my cousins are not allowed to enter due to the Hand foot.) More like a hero very proud of his wounds just like his big brother who is now recovering from it.

Recipe : Cottage Pie with Sweet Potato and Potato Topping

200g  beef tenderloin ( or use good quality ground beef)
1 small carrot , finely chopped or grated
1/2 celery stick, finely chopped (optional)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup red lentils washed
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp chilli flakes or more if you like it hot or none at all if giving to  children
2 teaspoons full tomato paste
1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 beef or chicken stock cube,crumbled
1 1/2- 2 cups water
1/2 tbsp butter
1/2 tbsp flour
handful of finely chopped parsley (optional)
olive oil

400g sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
200g potato, peeled and cut into chunks
big handful of grated chedder cheese

Finely chop your tenderloin and then using a large knife, chop it up till completely minced , or u can just chuck it into a meat mincer or your food processor and let it chop it up. Or use a good ground meat. ( If buying ground mince in Male' city,I would really recommend the one they sell in Fantasy store or you can try the  ones they are selling at Seagull foods).

Boil your sweet potato and potatoes in lightly salted water  till cooked through, drain and push through a sieve ( or ricer) or mash it up with  a masher. ( the sweet potato I used had  alot of string so I had to push through a sieve to get a nice creamy mash, got quite a work out due to that). Add 1/4 cup milk, and softened butter , pinch salt and chedder cheese and mix well till you get nice smooth mash. Add a little more milk if necessary

Heat a large frying pan or  wok or use a large saucepan,  add about 2 tbsp olive oil and soften your onions, garlic, carrot and celery. Once they soften , add ground meat. ,break the meat up and brown it a bit.

Add dried herbs, pepper, chilli flakes ( if using)  , tomato paste. Crumble the  stock cube ( you can use liquid stock or fresh stock) add water and stir well.  Bring to a boil stir in the lentils and cover and cook till the lentils and meat are cooked through, about 20-30 minutes The mixture shouldn't dry up , add an extra 1/2 cup if the mixture  looks too dry.

In a small bowl mix the  butter and flour together and mix this into the  mixture and stir well. The gravy will become nice and glossy. Taste add salt and pepper if necessary.stir in chopped parsley if using Cool a little.

Preheat oven to gas mark 5.

Spoon the meat mixture into a oven proof dish or into 4 small ramekins. Spread the mash on top, run a fork on top for a nice design effect. Sprinkle some more chedder cheese on top if you like.

Place the dish or ramekins in a baking sheet or tray and pop in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. The top will turn light golden and  the filling will be bubbling.

Enjoy with a  leafy salad.


  1. Hope they are both feeling better Nammi! That sounds so painful. The pie looks delicious - I love sweet potatoes!

  2. Inviting pie......... Looks super tasty!


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