Cheap Eats

PAUPERS STEW

PAUPERS STEW

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Serves 8

Ok, it’s January we are all recovering from December! So, out comes the mince!!😂

You can make this stretch for miles, chuck a variety of whatever root veg you fancy in and eat it for a couple of days! Another big advantage for me is my kids prefer the mince to big chunks of beef.

1kg Mince Beef
3 Large Carrots, finely chopped
2 Onions, finely chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, crushed
3 Sticks Celery, chopped in pieces
2kg Potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 litres Beef Stock
Big Splash Red Wine
1 Bouquet Garni
Splash of Olive or Rapeseed Oil
Maldon Salt and Black Pepper
Worcestershire Sauce

In a large pot, heat up high and add your mince. Fry on a high heat until well browned all over and periodically drain out any fat (keeps it super healthy).

Remove beef from the pot, add a splash of oil and then add the onion, fry over a medium heat for five mins.

Add the carrots, celery and garlic and continue to cook for another five minutes.

Return meat to pot, add the wine, potatoes, stock and bouquet garni and stir.

To season add salt, pepper and a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce…adjust to your taste.

Cook gently for an hour stirring from time to time. You might want to use a fork to break up the potato if it has not already broken up.

This is a wonderful make ahead dish I use for swimming lesson nights, just come in, switch it on, cut up the crusty bread and enjoy!!

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BOLOGNESE RAGU

BOLOGNESE RAGU

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An oldie but a goodie! I make a huge pot of this and get enough for Spag Bol and a Lasagna. The sauce is packed with secret veggies so it is perfect for fussy eaters! If you are doing both, double up on quantities.

Serves 6

1.2 kg Minced Beef
1 Large Carrot, whizzed in a food processor
2 Sticks Celery, whizzed in a food processor
1 Large Onion, whizzed in a food processor
2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
2 Tins Chopped Tomatoes
2 tbsp Tomato Purée
1 tsp Oregano (dried)
350g Mushrooms, sliced
200ml Beef Stock
150ml Red Wine(give or take a bit😂😂)
Dash of Olive Oil

Start by browning the mince in a large heavy pot. Keep the heat quite high, and break it up so it is nice and fine with a wooden spoon. I like to minimise the fat content in my cooking, so as I am going along, I pour a lot of the fat out of the mince, not all of it! Some may argue this compromises the taste, however I beg to differ.

Remove mince from the pan. Add a dash of olive oil and heat, throw in the onions. Soften for 5-7 mins.

Add the carrot, celery and garlic and continue to soften for another 3-4 mins.

Return the beef to the pot.

Chuck in the mushrooms.

Add the oregano and mix through.

Add the tomato purée and mix through.

Add the wine and cook for two mins.

Add the tins of tomatoes and the beef stock, bit by bit. Don’t add it all if it is looking too sloppy.

Cover and turn down the heat to a gentle simmer for 30-40 mins.

Serve with your pasta of choice and enjoy!

Red Onion, Courgette and Feta Tart

Red Onion, Courgette and Feta Tart

Using a standard quiche dish, serves roughly 4

Red Onion, Courgette and Feta Tart
It’s Friday night, I have one too many eggs, and some other random ingredients rocking around my fridge! Add a cheat ingredient in the form of Ready to Roll Shortcrust (normally make my own, so this kills me a little 😂) and boom, I have a rather lush, tasty tart!

Ready to Roll Savoury Shortcrust Pastry at room temperature
2 Large Red Onions, peeled, halved and finely sliced
2 Courgettes, sliced
1/2 Block Feta Cheese
Dash of olive oil
7 Egg
75ml Milk
Maldon Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Flour

Heat oven to 200c

Dust your work surface and the surface of the pastry with flour to ensure it does not stick.

Roll the pastry out until it is really thin and fits the quiche dish.

Gently fit it into the dish, line the dish with grease proof paper and fill with baking beans.

Put into the oven for 10 mins, then remove the beans and put it back into the oven for 7-10 mins to crisp up.

Take out of the oven to cool.
Meanwhile, add a dash of oil to the pan and cook the onions gently for around 10 mins.

Add the courgette and cook for a further 5.

Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, add the seven eggs and the milk and whisk up really well.

Season the eggs with salt and pepper.

Add the onion and courgette mixture to the pastry case.

Sprinkle with crumbled feta.

Now pour in the egg mixture.

Turn the oven down to 180c and cook for 35-40 mins until well set and nicely browned.

Serve with a nice green salad.

Simplicity at its best! ❤️

#vegetarian #tart

RK Paella

RK Paella

Paella

Having spent a month in Spain, I ate a few lush paella. The key to paella is the crust or ‘Socarrat’ from the Spanish word ‘Socarrar’, meaning to toast lightly. Anyone familiar with cooking a risotto will be tempted to stir…resist!! I admit that I do give the veggies a quick mix in, after that I leave it to Socarrar!

If like me, you don’t have a proper paella pan, just use a pan with a nice heavy base.

Serves 5

1 Onion finely chopped
500g Paella Rice
A Large Handful Green Beans, chopped into small pieces
2 Big Handfuls of Petit Pois
1.2l Chicken Stock
4 Chicken Breasts cut into small slices
Olive Oil
Sazonador paraPaella or
A Large Pinch of Saffron
2 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
Salt and Pepper to taste
Flat Leaf Parsley chopped
1 Lemon Cut into Segments

Heat the oil (3-4 tbsp) and then add the onion for 5-8 mins to soften.

Add the Chicken and cook until it has a golden colour.

Add the rice and stir until well covered in the oil.

Add all of the seasoning and the stock and stir.

Turn the heat down and. Cover with tinfoil for 15 mins.

Add the veggies, give them a cheeky stir.

Cover with the foil again and leave on the low heat for around another 15 mins until all the stock is absorbed.

Turn off the heat and leave covered for another 10 mins.

Sprinkle with parsley and arrange lemon pieces.

Serve with a nice glass of Rosé!
I have stuck to chicken as my kids don’t like prawns, feel free so add some huge big raw prawns around 10 mins before the end.

Spaghetti Bolognese with Secret Veggies

Spaghetti Bolognese with Secret Veggies

Spaghetti bol

This one is for my babies! They simply cannot get enough of this. I generally make a huge pot and freeze some. Except for the mushrooms the veggies are all whizzed in a food processor and are some small no one notices them, therefore no picking! Result, veggies in and huge smiles of faces!!

1.2 kg Lean Mince Beef
1 Onion, minced in a food processor
2 Cloves Garlic, minced in a food processor
3 Carrots, peeled and minced in a food processor
2 Sticks Celery, minced in a food processor
1 Courgette, minced in a food processor (Optional)
2 tbsp Tomato Purée
2 Tins Chopped Tomatoes
A Big Glug Red Wine
250ml Beef Stock
A Handful of Fresh Chopped Basil
Olive Oil

Add the mince in a couple of batches to a large pot, fry until well browned all over. Breakup the mince as you go. Remove from the pot,meet aside.
Add a dash of oil to the pot and fry the onion and garlic gently for 5 mins.

Add the rest of the veggies and fry for a further 3-4 mins.

Add a good splash of red wine, cook for a couple of mins.

Add the tomato purée and stir.

Add the tinned tomatoes and the beef stock.

Stir, bring to the boil and then simmer gently for around 30 mins.

Just before the end, add the chopped basil.

Serve with spaghetti or whatever pasta you fancy and some nice fresh Parmesan shavings! Delish!!

Spring Minestrone Soup

Spring Minestrone Soup

Super easy, super healthy and super tasty…who ever thought it was possible!

Minestrone

2 Carrots cut into small chunks
2 Sticks Celery cut into small pieces
2 Leeks Chopped into small pieces
1 Large Onion chopped very finely
A Large Handful Green Beans cut into small pieces
1 Tin Borlotti Beans drained and rinsed
1 Tin Chopped Tomatoes

1 tbsp Tomato Purée

1.5l Chicken or Vegetable Stock
Olive Oil
Maldon Sea Salt and Black Pepper

Small handful spaghetti broken into small pieces

Add some oil to a large saucepan. When hot add to it the carrots, celery, onion and leeks.

Fry gently for 5-6 mins.

Chuck in the green beans and the Borlotti beans, tomato purée, pasta and stock and stir well.

Season with Maldon sea salt and black pepper.

Cook on a medium heat for around 10 mins or until the vegetables and pasta are just tender.

Serve with some lovely crusty bread! Boom…delish!

Chicken Drumsticks with Five Spice and Honey

Chicken Drumsticks with Five Spice and Honey 🍗🍗

Chicken Drumsticks with Five Spice and Honey

This is super cheap, super easy and super tasty…no excuses, anyone could rock this one up!
Marinade

3 Cloves Garlic finely chopped
2 tbsp Fresh Root Ginger finely chopped
1 tbsp Shaoxing Rice Wine or Sherry
2 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
2 tsp Five Spice Powder
1 tbsp Groundnut Oil
2 tbsp Honey

1kg Chicken Drumsticks

Place all of the marinade ingredients in a bowl and combine well.

Add the chicken to the bowl and ensure it is covered well in the marinade.

Leave overnight in the marinade, if you are short of time leave for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Place the drumsticks on a roasting tray and roast for 30 mins or until cooked and the skin nice and crispy.

Serve with rice and some steamed broccoli or Pak choi.