Sunday, 9 June 2013

Day seven of frugal challenge

I have lasted a week on just less than £42, although I did have to buy some more milk as we ran out yesterday. Breakfast this morning stretched to two bacon rolls for the lucky ones. We were invited out for lunch, but had we not been out I would have made brunch with more pancakes, beans and the four rashers of bacon that were left. Tea was beef casserole with cheddar cheese dumplings in the absence of potatoes and accompanied with some frozen peas. The kids have been very negative about the food this week, they will hopefully realise how lucky they are in future. In my opinion we ate really well, and had I not raised the issue of what I was trying to achieve they would have been none the wiser at the quality of the meals. I did have to use some store cupboard/fridge ingredients, but the total of the extras wouldn't raise the cost much more. I will list the  ingredients not included in my weekly shop below. What I realise is how lucky I am never to have to consider the cost of food. I've just had one week of watching the pennies, this week I can go back to normal. This is not the case for a huge number of people.

Beef casserole
Serves 4
oil for frying
500g casserole steak, diced
3 carrots, chopped
2 leeks, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon of flour
1 onion or 2 small onions
500ml oxo stock
a pinch of chilli flakes
salt and pepper
a dollop of tomato puree

Cheddar Dumplings;
150g self raising flour
60g chilled butter, cut into small pieces
60g mature cheddar, grated
1 egg beaten
1-2 tbsp milk

Heat the oil in a casserole dish and fry the beef in batches until browned. Remove the  beef from the pan and fry the onions and garlic until soft. Add the beef to the onion mixture along with the carrots, leeks and a pinch of chilli flakes. Add the flour and stir well then pour in the stock and tomato puree. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer then cook in the oven covered for 3 hours at 160ºC. 
Put the dumpling ingredients together in a bowl and stir to a soft dough. Be careful not to overmix, so just bring it together. (At this point I used my hands to rub in the butter slightly before adding the milk and egg, although this was not specified) Add the dumplings at the end of the cooking time, leave the lid off and cook until golden and crusty for about 20 minutes.

Extras to shopping list 
Store cupboard
1 tin of peaches
1 tube of tomato puree
1 oxo cube
vegetable stock
chilli flakes

3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon of jalapenos
1 fresh red chilli
a dollop of green pesto
a dollop of creme fraiche
frozen peas
sweet chilli sauce
soft cheese (for packed lunch sandwiches)

1 orange
potatoes which would have normally been thrown away


  1. Very impressed with you this week Sally, I didn't think you'd be able to stick to it........especially the wine! Well done you :-)

    1. The food was fine, the wine more of a challenge. Trying to keep cost down this week too, but I'll not make a song and dance of it.

  2. I love the sound of this! Proper comfort food. :) Why are you not registered with Foodies 100 yet (you should do this, like.... er... soon!) x

    1. I think I tried to register with the site once before and didn't manage for some reason. When I tried to do it again, it said my email was already registered. I will give it another go. I am going to give your chocolate and fig cookies a go. They look wonderful!