This half term, while on leave from work, I rolled up my sleeves and got making. As I am away from home at least 1 night per week, I do attempt to make it easy for my dear hubby. Not only that but I’d rather the girls didn’t just eat “brown food” – you know; fish fingers and potato wedges from the freezer. Not only that, but after years of me being first cook in the house, P has lost the knack a bit. He does a pretty good risotto and, being a man, can cook steak really well, but the rest… well, pasta and jars, plus the above brown food, are his regular offerings.
Of course, before I started this cooking for the freezer fun, I had to venture to the fantastic butcher no too far from here, where I spent an OBSCENE amount of money on meat. It was all from high welfare animals though, and on display in the window too (Don’t even get me started on recent news about a butcher having to take down the game display as it offended locals!*)
Next – other ingredients, which were largely storecupboard, with a few extras thrown in the basket at Lidl.
Here’s the list of what I made:
Lots of ragu. My fussy younger daughter won’t touch mince, and I can’t afford to feed her on steak, which would be her ideal, so we meet halfway. We ate it on the first night and the vast amount of leftovers became a sort of cottage pie, a sort of chilli con carne and a sort of pasta and cheese sauce concoction. I’m sure it has a name, but can’t think what it might be!
Loads of beef stew. Always great for the freezer.
Slow cooked shoulder of lamb, which later became the basis of 3 individual shepherds’ pies.
And finally a load of mac and cheese. OK, it doesn’t freeze brilliantly, but my older daughter isn’t a huge fan of meat, so while I’m away during the week she can reach into the freezer for a portion of this.
This was all made easy by the beast – my wonderful dark blue AGA, and all slow cooked in the bottom oven (except the mac and cheese, obviously). I can’t recommend enough cooking meat long and slow to really bring out the flavour and make even the cheapest cuts tender and delicious, and I’m told that the counter top slow cookers are fab too. Must get one – any recommendations?
*Actually; do get me started. This will be my next blogpost