Beef, middle eastern

Lazy Beef Tagine (£1.17 per portion)

I used to have a Tagine years ago, however, we broke the lid by mistake. I never got around to replace it as I always seemed to have other things to use my money on. The other day I went into a small charity shop on my way back from a friend’s house and there I found a brand-new Tagine!! It even had the sticker on it with original price £20.00 and the care instructions of how to care for it. I snapped it up for a few pounds.

When I got home, I immediately started to think, what can I cook in my tagine, and I went through my freezers. Two recipes came in mind, my Moroccan inspired chicken recipe or the Lazy beef tagine which I used to cook a lot. I had both chicken and stewing beef in the freezer. In the end I decided to use the reduced 95p Stewing Beef, I had picked up from The Co-op.

I was going to serve this for Blip and Flipper as dinner, but plans changed, and I was getting a friend over for lunch the next day. I thought this would be much more appreciated by her, than by my two wonderful boys.. Especially, as I wanted to serve it with a quinoa salad, Babaganoush and Tzaziki.

Don’t get me wrong I love serving healthy interesting food for my two boys, but occasionally it is nice to serve it to another adult who really appreciates it. Instead my two boys and I had reduced meatballs and pasta for dinner (£1.35 for 12 meatballs).

This tagine dish can be made in the slow cooker as well or as a casserole dish as well. What I like about the tagine is that it is very easy and the flavour seems to be much better than when you use a slow cooker. All you do is literally to put all the ingredients into the tagine and leave it to be. Make sure to cook it low and slow, to ensure tender meat. It could be served with couscous or as here with quinoa or even rice, depending how you like it.

Even a big bowl of salad with some flatbreads on the side. The dish taste even better the following day.

Lazy Beef Tagine

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

400g Stewing Beef, Diced
1 Can chopped tomatoes
5 medium potatoes
1 Can chick peas, including liquid
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 medium sized carrots, chopped
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 lemon
1 tbsp oil
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp Cumin
½ tsp Ginger
Salt and pepper to taste.
Roughly chopped parsley for the top

Method:

  1. Turn the oven on to 160C (140C if fan assisted).
  2. Finely chop the onion, peel the garlic, peel the potatoes and quarter them, peel the carrots and slice them into 1 cm discs.
  3. Add the oil in a pan and fry the onions until they take a brown almost burnt colour on the edges. Then add all the spices to the mix and fry for another minute.
  4. Now add the tin of chickpeas including the liquid and the chopped tomatoes to the tagine, then add the fried onions, squeeze the garlic in and add potatoes and carrots, mix it together. Add the beef to the mixture and mix it all.
  5. Place two half lemons to it, then top up with water, about 200 (depending on the size of the tagine, be carefull to not overfill it). season with ½ teaspoon of salt and pepper.
  6. Put the lid on and place the tagine in the bottom of the oven cooking it for 1 hour 45 minutes.
  7. Be careful when you take it out as the steam builds up inside it. Now taste the tagine and season accordingly.
  8. Scatter the chopped parsley on top before serving.
  9. Serve with couscous or quinoa salad.

 

 

Bon Appetite as my grandad would have said.

 

 

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per March 2019).

Ingredients:

Stewing Beef £2.59
Chopped tomatoes 30p
Potatoes 50p
Chick peas 40p
Onion 18p
Carrots 12p
Garlic cloves 9p
Lemon 19p
Oil 1p
Turmeric 2p
Cumin 2p
Ginger 1p
Salt and pepper.2p
Parsley 23p

Total cost = £4.66,  Per portion (4.66/4) = £1.17 per portion

 

 

 

cheap, Chicken

Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Pie- (84p per portion)

My grandparents who I was very close to always used to say, waste not want not. They both experienced the shortage of food, under the war and also the shortage of other necessities in those years. My grandad especially hated food waste, he remembered the depression and people queuing for food. My grandma was more off a practical cook instead of an experimental cook. She often cooked the same things. But what she cooked, she cooked really well, especially her biscuits. 

However, it never occurred to me how much the things my grandparents used to say to me as a child has actually stuck with me. I hate waste, I hate throwing good food out. Also, I use my nose and my eyes to judge whether food is still ok to eat. I think a lot of people have become way too reliant on the best before and use by date. I rarely stick to that, except when it comes to mussels and other sea food like that. But only because I once became really ill eating sea food that was well out off date, a friend cooked it for me… and ohh we were sick…

It’s a good thing I’m not too bothered about the dates, as I now tend to pop to my local shop in the evenings. Often, I pick up amazing offers at either 7pm when it’s 75% off the price and 9pm where its 90% of the price or 10p each item. The Other day I picked up lots of reduced Chicken… Drumsticks and whole chickens for 10p each!! I made a roast chicken not long ago for friends, I kept the carcasses and stripped off any meat we didn’t eat. I also stripped some meat of drumsticks that we didn’t get through. I have been keeping it all in the freezer.

This week Flipper has been poorly with tonsillitis and double-sided ear-infection and as he was relaxing, I spend all of Tuesday cooking, he loves being around whilst I cook. I made a lovely chicken soup on the carcasses and with the leftover meat (see my previous blog) and I made this chicken pie containing reduced mushrooms, leek, bacon and the leftover chicken together with a bit of the soup to make a yummy filling. I also had puff pastry, just the basic ready-made stuff from the super market. That’s one thing I can’t be bothered to make from scratch I must admit.

Blip really enjoyed the food, Flipper tried it, but with his hurting throat and ears he really wasn’t too interested. Luckily, he finally seems to be recovering.

I served the pie with green trees (broccoli) and yellow tree trunks (baby corns) which I had found reduced as well. Blip won’t eat them if I call it broccoli and baby corns. We also had potatoes on the side.

Chicken Pie

Serves 4 – 6 people

Ingredients

1 packet puff pastry
Leftover meat from chicken (approximately 400g)
1 leek
4 rashers of streaky bacon (or cooking bacon)
250 g closed cup mushrooms
1 garlic clove, grated
½ teaspoon nutmeg
250ml chicken stock (or leftover soup)
100 g cream cheese
100 g Greek yoghurt
1tbsp plain flour
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp oil 

Method:

  1. Take the puff pastry out of the fridge and leave out for about 10 to 15 minutes before using. Clean the leeks thoroughly then cut them into 1 cm discs, set aside. 
  2. Clean and quarter the mushrooms and put aside. 
  3. Make sure the chicken is made into small pieces and all deboned. 
  4. Chop the bacon into small squares. 
  5.  Now line the pie tray with 2/3 of the puff pastry, reserving the rest for the lid, ( I use a non stick tray so its not necessary to grease it first).  Place thelined  pie tray in the fridge until it needs using. 
  6. If cooking the pie straight away, turn the oven on now to 180C (fan oven) or 200C traditional oven. 
  7. Add the oil to a frying pan and fry the bacon on a medium heat until crispy and then set the bacon aside. 
  8.   In the fat from the bacon add the mushrooms, garlic, leeks and saute until the leeks has softened. Then add the chicken and stir.
  9. Now add in the yoghurt, cream cheese, nutmeg and 200 ml of chicken stock mix it well and leave to simmer for about 5 minutes. 
  10. Whilst the mixture is simmering, add the flour to the remainder of the chicken stock and mix it until it forms a paste. 
  11. Now add the flour mixture to the filling, mix and simmer for another 1-2 minutes, the mixture should have thickened up. Taste the mixture and season accordingly with salt and pepper.
  12. Add the filling to the Pie tray and place the remaining pastry on top so it forms a lid. You can decorate it with any of cut pastry if you wish. Ensure you make 1 or 2 holes in the pastry so steam can escape. 
  13. Place in the warm oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the pastry is nice golden and flaky. 
  14. Serve with vegetables of your choice and potato bits.

 

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Bon Appetite as my grandad would have said.

 

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per March 2019).

 

–      This time costings are harder as I’m using a leftover chicken. However, I have calculated it on ½ a leftover medium chicken from Tesco 1.3-1.5 kg.


Puff pastry £1.30
Chicken £1.50
Leek (£1.50/3)x1 =50p
Bacon (£1.25/14)x4 = 36p
Mushrooms (95p/300g)x250g=80p
Garlic clove 3p
Nutmeg 2p
Chicken stock (or leftover soup) (50p/10)x1 =5p
Cream cheese (49p/200g)x100g = 25p
Greek yoghurt (85p/500g)x100g =17p
Plain flour (45p/1500g)x 10g = 3p
Salt and pepper 2p
Oil (£3.50/5000ml)x15ml =1p

 Total cost £5.04  – Per Portion (£5.04/6)= 84p

 

 

cheap, Chicken, Meats, Soup

Waste Not Want Not – Chicken Soup – (94p per portion)

When I was about 9, my parents got divorced. The best thing they ever did in my opinion. They are as different as the sun and the moon and neither me or my brother have ever had any doubt that it was the best thing, they did for us. However, it brought a lot off changes into our lives. Some of them were good changes, however, it also brought its challenges with them.

I had to stay with my mum whilst my brother stayed with my dad. My brother is 4 years older than me. We were very close and still are very close, even when we don’t see each other that often.  I was only allowed to see my dad every other weekend and it was hard, as I had always been very close to my dad. Anyone who knows us, says there is no doubt I’m his daughter. Both with looks and the ways we are. I got a lot of positive traits from my dad.

One of the things I really enjoyed when I used to visit my dad and brother in the weekends, was the food he used to cook for us. My dad is a really good cook, he loves cooking and puts a lot of care into it.  Whereabout my mums cooking is rather horrendous (sorry mum) and more, let’s put this in a pot and cook it as quickly as possible. My mum’s food is either really plain or very hot and unbalanced.  There are only one or two meals she really cooks to perfection.

One of the things my dad often cooked for us was soup, not always chicken soup but often and ohh my days how I loved it! To this day when I visit my dad in Denmark, I always ask him if he can make me soup. He normally does it as he knows it makes me very happy!

I have recreated the recipe he used, however, changed it slightly as I wanted to make it from leftover chicken from Sunday roast, instead of from a whole chicken.  It almost tastes the same, but it will never be as delicious as the one my dad makes. Even if I use his recipe, it’s just not quite right.

Also, I haven’t made the traditional Danish meatballs and flour balls (melboller) we normally add to the soup back in Denmark, mainly as I still haven’t mastered the technique and they therefor don’t taste quite right.

The good thing is, that if you got enough leftover chicken meat and about 250ml soup you can turn all of this into a gorgeous chicken pie. If you are planning to make a pie, then you need about an extra 400g of chicken and 250 ml of soup.

Blip enjoyed the soup, Flipper didn’t but then he does have tonsillitis and an ear infection.

I served the soup as a starter before the chicken pie and I also have had it a few more times since.

I added a bit of pasta in for the kids, however, you can leave this out if you wish.  I would recommend Anellini or Filini pasta, as they take very little time to heat up. You would only need a small handful of this.

The soup freezes perfectly as well

Chicken soup

Serves

At least,  4 as a main course.

Ingredients

For the soup:

1 carcase
1 onion
2 Carrots
1 leek (green and white part)
1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
2 celery sticks
2 whole garlic cloves.
2 litters of water
Salt and pepper

Filling for the soup:

400 g chicken
2 leeks
2 carrots
50g Anellini or Filini Pasta (optional)
Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Clean the leek and chop into 1 cm discs, also cut the carrots into 1 cm pieces, cut the onion into quarters, unpeel the garlic and slice the ginger into 5 match sticks.
  2. Add the carcase to the pot, and all the vegetables for the soup, (remember to reserve the vegetables that are for the filling of the soup). Now add the 2 litters of water and a teaspoon of salt and pepper. Put the lid on and gentle boil the soup for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  3. If any white forms on the soup whilst simmering, gently remove with a spoon and continue to cook. You may have to do this several times during the cooking time. This ensures that the soup stay nice and clear.
  4. Now prepare the filling for the soup, ensuring the leftover chicken is cut into bite size pieces, peel the carrot and cut into 1 cm round disks. Also ensure to clean the leeks thoroughly and cut into 1 cm disks.
  5. After the 1hour and 15 minutes is up, sieve the soup and discard all the vegetables and the carcase of the chicken.
  6. Place the now clear soup back on the stove, season with salt and pepper and add all the filling for the soup. Including the pasta if you are planning to use it. Let it simmer for another 15 minutes or until the carrots are nice and soft.

 

Bon Appetite as my grandad would have said.

 

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per March 2019).

–          This time costings are harder as I’m using a leftover chicken. However, I have calculated it on ½ a leftover medium chicken from Tesco 1.3-1.5 kg.

 

Ingredients:

Chicken +(carcase) £1.50

Onion 10p

Carrots 18p

Leek £1.50

Ginger 15p

Celery sticks 10p

Garlic cloves. 6p

Pasta 99p/400g) x50g = 13p (https://www.tesco.com/groceries/en-GB/products/259347043)

Salt and pepper 2p

Total cost = £3.74 Per portion (3.74/4) = 94p per portion