It seems that here in the UK winter is going on and on. This stew was really warming and delicious; and cheap, being made using sausages from the reduced section of the supermarket, ‘cooks bacon’ and vegetables bought at the end of the day from my local market.
I served the stew with soda bread which is very quick and easy to make. Although I have a favourite soda bread recipe which I have written up before, I decided to have a go at the recipe from Jack Monroe’s ‘Cooking on a Bootstrap‘ blog. Jack’s recipe is much more simple than the one I had been using and worked very well.
This made three portions.
- 3 Beef Sausages
- 3 Rashers of Bacon
- 1/2 an onion
- 1/2 red pepper
- 3 Tomatoes
- 6 Mushrooms
- 1/2 tin of chickpeas
- 1/2 tin tomatoes
- Chicken or Vegetable Stock
- 1/2 teaspoon Chilli Flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon Dried Mixed Herbs
- A couple of tablespoons of chopped flat-leaved Parsley
Finely chop the onions and red pepper. Put these in the pan along with chopped bacon, sausages and a little oil or butter. You won’t need much oil because fat will quickly come out of the bacon and sausages. Fry over a medium heat for about five minutes, stirring frequently.
Next, coarsely chop the tomatoes and mushrooms and add these to the pan along with the dried herbs, chilli and some black pepper. Let everything cook together for a few minutes and then add half a tin of tomatoes, about a mugful of stock and the chickpeas. Note, I used chickpeas because this is what I had in the cupboard, butter beans would also have been good and is a more traditional pairing with sausages.
Allow to simmer on a low heat for ten to fifteen minutes; as with many stews the longer it cooks the more the flavours develop. So this stage depends very much on how hungry/ impatient you are feeling!
About five minutes before you are ready to serve add the fresh parsley. Make sure you taste the stew before serving and season with more pepper, chilli and/ or salt if required.
Serve with a chunk of fresh bread, I made soda bread which is incredibly quick and cheap to make.
- 3 Beef Sausages – £0.39 (reduced from Tesco)
- 3 Rashers of Bacon – about £0.15
- 1/2 an onion – £0.05
- 1/2 red pepper – £0.17 (Peppers are usually rather expensive, however I went to my local market as they were closing up and got three for £1 which is pretty good)
- 3 Tomatoes – £0.17 (Again, from the market – six for £0.50)
- 6 Mushrooms – about £0.50
- 1/2 tin of chickpeas – £0.35 (I only used half a tin, but I have included the full cost and will exclude it from the cost of the meal tomorrow)
- 1/2 tin tomatoes – £0.35 (I only used half a tin, but I have included the full cost and will exclude it from the cost of the meal tomorrow)
- Stock Cube – £0.04
- 1/2 teaspoon Chilli Flakes – £0.01
- 1/2 teaspoon Dried Mixed Herbs – £0.01
- A couple of tablespoons of chopped flat-leaved Parsley – from the garden
So, this cost £1.84 for three portions, with some leftover ingredients for another day.
As many of you who follow me are aware I have just commenced a new project called Kitty’s Basic Kitchen. I have put most of my kitchen utensils, spices and other store-cupboard food away in boxes, with the aim of seeing to what extent it is possible to build a kitchen and cook healthy food on a very limited budget.
This is the second recipe in the series. The first thing which I cooked was homemade stuffing and roast vegetables; which quickly made me realise that I had missed something important out of my basic kitchen – a baking tray! Steve and I ate only half of the stuffing I cooked; I had thought to use the extra for stuffing sandwiches for lunch (yum!) but some Pinterest inspiration led me to make this stew.
This one-pot meal was inspired by this recipe from the blog ‘My Fussy Eater’, with some key differences:
- Instead of sausages I used up cooked stuffing leftover from the meal yesterday;
- I had in the fridge half a tin of baked beans which I used instead of butter beans;
- because of the tomato juice in the beans I only used half a tin of tomatoes;
- paprika has not yet made it into the store-cupboard I am starting from scratch, so I used chilli instead.
- I am sadly lacking tomato puree; and
- I didn’t end up adding any stock because there was enough salt in the baked beans.
This fed two people, we dipped bread in it and it was really yummy. If I had used the whole tin of tomatoes and added a tin of butter beans then it would have also made at least one lunch for the following day.
I didn’t need to change the method to fit in with my emptied kitchen, so I don’t think that I need to re-write the recipe. The only difference was that I didn’t need to first cook the sausages. So, on to costs.
The cost of the stuffing was already accounted for as part of the meal yesterday.
- an onion – £0.09
- two carrots – £0.07
- 2 cloves of garlic – £0.05
- tin of tomatoes – £0.35 (I used Asda’s cheapest, they were okay but contained more liquid than a more expensive tin. I only used half, but have included all the cost in this meal and will exclude it from the cost of the meal tomorrow.)
- 1/2 teaspoon mixed herbs – £0.01
- 1/2 teaspoon of chilli flakes – £0.01
- 1/2 tin of baked beans – £0.25 (I used the cheapest I could find in the Co-op, I thought that they would be all sauce and no bean but they were actually pretty good. I have included the full cost of the tin because the beans on toast we had at the weekend weren’t accounted for elsewhere.)
- I haven’t yet worked out the cost of a tablespoon of oil, but I assume that it is negligible. I will go with £0.05 for sake of argument.
- Bread to dip – £0.25
Ingredients Cost = £1.13 !!
But wait, we haven’t done utensils yet and I had forgotten something obvious from my Basic Kitchen… a tin opener! Having found it in the bottom of a box I now need to add the cost to my monthly £10 utensil budget. What do I do? Should I go for the cheapest I can find and hope that it won’t fall apart in the first week? I expect that I will have forgotten some other obvious things, so cheapest it is.
Utensil Cost – £2.50