A day into my Basic Kitchen project and I have already made my first ‘purchase’ – a baking tray! I found an equivalent for £1 in Asda. I managed to resist buying back one of my mixing bowls, using my one saucepan to crumb the bread into instead.
I wouldn’t have expected the first of a series on frugal recipes to include meat, but I had defrosted the sausage meat a couple of days ago so it needed using up. Usually I would wrap stuffing balls in bacon, which prevents the stuffing from drying out and has the added bonus that the vegetables cook in bacon fat. However, I went to spend my weekly £10 at the Co-op following days upon days of snow and the shelves were bare. Oh well.
The meal including the baking tray cost £2.82, the cost breakdown is at the bottom of the page.
- Pack of sausage meat
- Remains of a dried loaf
- A few sage leaves (from my garden; if I had used dried sage this would have added to the cost of the meal)
- Half an onion
- Black pepper
- A splash of milk
- Three potatoes
- Five carrots
- Teaspoon of mixed herbs
- Drizzle of oil
Pre-heat the oven to 180oC.
Chop the vegetables and put onto a baking tray, then sprinkle them with herbs and pepper and drizzle with oil.
Break the bread into crumbs – this was rather more time consuming than usual without my food processor! You will need approximately the same volume of breadcrumbs as you have sausage meat. Any excess breadcrumbs can be put into a box or bag and frozen.
Next, rip the sage leaves into small pieces and add to the bread crumbs along with finely chopped onion, a generous pinch of salt and few grinds of black pepper. Add the sausage meat and mix into the dry ingredients, adding small splashes of milk until it binds together (don’t let it get too wet). I found it easiest to mix with a fork initially and then used my hands. You will have to use your hands to make the stuffing into balls so you will have to get your hands dirty one way or another!
Shape the stuffing into small balls and place these on top of the vegetables. Bake in the centre of the oven for approximately 45 minutes.
I would have served this with gravy but I forgot and we were hungry! I will share gravy making with you another time.
Note that where I already have ingredients in my store cupboard (such as mixed herbs) I have given the cost of the ingredient used; whereas when I introduce a new ingredient I will give the full cost as if I were buying it from the supermarket.
I am not sure how to cost a pinch of salt, a grind of pepper, a drizzle of oil and a splash of milk!
I have included the cost of all the stuffing balls even though we saved some for the next meal, so tomorrow’s meal will not include the cost of the stuffing.
- Sausage meat – £1.10 (this had been in my freezer since Christmas and I can’t remember the real cost, so I looked up the cost of frozen sausage meat from Sainsbury’s)
- Breadcrumbs – £0.25
- Half an Onion – £0.04
- Sage – using sage from my garden cost nothing. If I had added dried sage to my basic store-cupboard at this stage it would have added up to £1 to my weekly spending, depending on which supermarket I used.
- Carrots – £0.12
- Potatoes – £0.30
- Mixed herbs – £0.02
- Baking Tray – £1
Total Cost = £2.82