Monday, 28 October 2013

Cheap Eats #8

A couple of weeks ago I got a huge meat box from The Schoolrooms and my freezer is now well and truly stocked up with top quality meat. I bought it through a Groupon offer and it only cost me around £20, which was amazing given the amount of produce included. In fact, there was so much that I'd have been happy to pay the full price of about £45 and I'm going to be ordering more from them in the future.

Included in my batch was a pound of stewing beef which was simply crying out to be used in the slow cooker and I decided to make a beef and barley stew. I basically threw 5 chopped carrots, 3 chopped celery stalks, 3 chopped onions, 4 peeled and chopped potatoes, 2 tins of tomatoes, a good squeeze of tomato purée, a litre of beef stock, a couple of bay leaves, 2 diced cloves garlic, a sprinkling of dried thyme and 200g pearl barley along with the pound of beef that I had soaked in red wine overnight into the slow cooker and cooked it, on low, for about 8 hours.

This was lovely and warming. The meat was tender and gravy, thickened with veg and pearl barley, was good and sticky. It was easy as anything and one that can easily be adapted according to what's in the fridge. 

Later on in the week I dug out my Prashad cookbook and had a go at the spinach and mushroom curry. I've done a couple of recipes from here now and I must say that I am impressed. Not only is every recipe easy to follow, and quick to cook (once the masala has been prepared), the end results are pretty fantastic! Veggie curries are probably my favourite kind of curry as I love the fresh flavours and this spinach and mushroom curry did not disappoint. 

This week brings sausage casserole (one that I had planned to cook last week), a slow cooker spinach and feta risotto and a couple of soups. What have you got up your sleeves for the week ahead?!

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