Baby’s First Slow-cooked Meal

Wow how time flies! Lottie is 7 months and eating ‘real’ food. She seems to have taken to solids much faster than Freddie did and so far hasn’t refused the spoon. Surprisingly she will eat pretty much anything, even stronger flavours like salmon, and has progressed to lumpy textures quickly. I have a couple of ideas about what is sustaining enthusiasm:

  • She’s watching her big brother gobble down his meals and is copying.
  • I waited until she was just shy of 6 months and really hungry for something other than just milk.
  • I started with root vegetables rather than baby rice and fruit puree.
  • I introduced meat after a couple of weeks rather than waiting until 7 months as is recommended by some baby food cookbooks and guides.

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Here is one easy slow-cooked recipe that the whole family will enjoy. It is a one pot wonder so once it’s cooking that’s your evening meal sorted!

Slow-cooked Beef and Kumara Hotpot
Makes: 2 sets of meals for a family of 4
Preparation: 15minutes
Cooking: 1 1/2 hrs at 180’C or 6-8hrs on low
Freezes well

2 tbsps oil or butter
Flour to coat steak
2 leek
3 carrots
250g mushrooms (I prefer portabello mushrooms)
4 medium sweet potatoes
1kg stewing steak
Juice of 2 oranges
1 cup of water or you could replace this with reduced salt stock is feeding children over 12 months
Crusty bread to serve

Place the steak in a snaplock bag and cover with 2 tablespoons of flour, shake to coat (season at this point if serving children over 12mths)

Heat the oil in a casserole dish if cooking in the oven or frying pan if using a slow cooker and sweat off the leeks. Add the steak and brown. Once browned add the mushrooms and soften.

Transfer the meat and vegetable to the slow cooker and add the carrots and kumara.

De-glaze the pan with the cooking liquid and pour over the meat and vegetables.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours or in the oven at 180 ‘C for 1 1/2 hours.

Serve with crusty bread to soak up the sauce. If serving to a baby blend or mash to the appropriate texture using the cooking liquid.

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