06 Jan

Cottage Pie Leftovers Recipe

Week 1: Recipe 2

Make Once Eat Twice

Yesterday I made a braised beef with seasonal veg dish and using the leftovers I’ve now made a cottage pie.

I’ll keep it simple, because my recipes have to take little time in the kitchen. The only additional ingredients you will need are about 200g of frozen peas and sweetcorn, plus a small amount of grated cheese.

Shred the remaining beef from the previous meal and stir it into the leftover gravy.

Preheat your fan oven to 150 degrees Celsius.

Spoon the gravy and beef mixture into a large baking dish. Top with the frozen vegetables.

Spoon the leftover mashed potatoes on top of the vegetables and gravy mixture. Sprinkle grated cheese on top of the mashed potatoes.

Cook in the oven for 45 minutes, until all the food is warmed through and serve immediately.

If you want to, this meal is also perfect for freezing so once assembled, cover well and put straight into the freezer where it will keep for up to 1 month. Ensure it is completely defrosted before cooking in the oven.

05 Jan

Braised Beef With Seasonal Veg

Week 1: Recipe 1

Make Once Eat Twice

For the first in the recipe series I’ve gone back to a family favourite. Mam used to make this braised beef dish in a heavy casserole dish with a lid. The homely flavours come thanks to the veg that all comes from a local farm. It doesn’t get more Irish than this.

3 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
1kg housekeepers cut of beef (note remove any string or elastic before cooking)
4 large carrots, peeled and chopped into large chunks
1/2 small turnip (or swede) peeled and chopped
1 litre of vegetable stock (use hot water and 1 vegetable stock cube)
1 heaped tablespoon cornflour

For Serving
Mashed potatoes (make enough for 2 meals)

For the braised flavour you will need to sear the onions and the beef. So first grab your casserole dish, put it on a high heat and fry the onions in a teaspoon of vegetable oil until they turn brown/charred. Remove the onions from the dish and put them on a plate.

With the dish still on high, sear all sides of the beef so that it’s dark brown. Add the onions back to the dish, the rest of the vegetables, and then the stock. Cover the casserole dish and reduce the heat so that the stock is on a slow simmer. Cook for 3-4 hours. Note the stock should reach a maximum of halfway up the piece of beef, it should not be covered in the stock.

Adapted for the slow cooker: Fry the onions and then the beef in a frying pan before putting them into your slow cooker. Add the chopped vegetables, stock, put the lid on top and cook on high for 5-6 hours.

Before serving, remove the beef from the dish/slow cooker. Remember you have to keep half for your second dish tomorrow so it may be easier to cut it in half and cover now before serving dinner.

In a small cup mix 1 heaped tablespoon of cornflour with a splash of cold water until you get a loose paste. With the vegetables and the stock still on the heat, quickly stir this paste into the mixture. It should thicken the mixture to a gravy instantly. Once again, half of this mixture is to be reserved for your second meal.

Serve the beef with the vegetables in gravy with mash on the side. I’ve served ours with buttered cabbage as I got some fresh from the farm yesterday and I love the vibrant colours.

One of the main reasons why I love this recipe so much is because all of the vegetables used here are Irish and in season. It makes it very budget friendly for what is a very frugal time of the year.

Cover the leftover food and chill the food when it reaches room temperature. I’ll have the second recipe for you tomorrow!

29 Jul

Pasta Meatball Bake – Recipe And Video

When it’s Winter I crave warming dishes for dinner. You know the ones that give you a hug from the inside out, and that are just rib-sticking good. It’s Summer however, not that we’d know it. Today has been about 14 degrees on average which is pretty dire for the end of July, we’ve also had thunder, lightening, and hailstones. So you’ll excuse me if I revisit some of my favourite comfort food for dinner this evening.

This pasta meatball bake is a family favourite. It’s easy to assemble, and serves 8 people. It’s also a budget dish, costing approximately 80c per portion and as if all of this wasn’t good enough, my kids wolf it down.

To make it even easier for you to follow, I’ve even filmed a video recipe, and (the good news keeps on coming), I’m committing to a new video recipe every Wednesday from now on.

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11 Jun

Garlic Scapes – What Are They? – Where To Find Them? – What To Do With Them?

Garlic scapes are elusive, very seasonal, and you’ve probably never heard of them. If you have heard of garlic scapes it’s because you either grow your own garlic, or you’ve seen a small rash of related recipes/posts on social media in the past few weeks. This is not the next “cro-nut”, not a food-fad at all. Garlic scapes have a smaller season than elderflower (another item that’s just finishing its season at the moment), and are harder to get a hold of in Ireland.

Garlic Scapes - Caitriona Redmond

Garlic Scapes – Caitriona Redmond

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03 Jun

Meatballs In Onion Gravy

I often wonder what people consider to be a frugal recipe. Watching the new series of “Save With Jamie” last night where he talked about his recipes costing about STG£1.75 per portion being frugal I realised it’s easy to forget that frugal to him is excessive to me!  If you’re interested in what I think of his book to accompany the series you can read my review from September here.

Before I get to my own recipe ,which costs far less than what you’d think, I just wanted to mention my own book. The price has dropped significantly on Amazon and if you’re interested in picking it up for a bargain then do head over there, check out the reviews and see if you’re interested.  Meanwhile, as I’m on RTÉ’s “The Consumer Show” tonight at 8.30pm I’m off to find a cushion to hide behind and a pot of tea to keep me steady!

This meatballs in onion gravy recipe uses just a few key ingredients but it is full of flavour. It’s also budget friendly, coming in at just €0.90 per portion for a family of 5.

I always have at least one bag of frozen sweetcorn on the go. When the sweetcorn is flash frozen it preserves far more nutrients than tinned sweetcorn and it’s cheaper per gram to buy than the fresh or tinned alternatives. Another product I keep in the stores the whole year around is spuds. Irish spuds are cheaper this year than the last so bear that in mind when you’re out shopping.

By keeping some key store cupboard ingredients stocked up, I always have options when it comes to planning my meals for the week. Why not give this family meal a try? Read More

18 Mar

Beef Salad

Slow cooking cheaper cuts of meat isn’t always the best option if you’re on a budget. While the meat is cheaper to buy, I can’t neglect the fact that energy costs money. This beef salad requires very little cooking and uses a cut of stewing beef. Read More

20 Oct

Chickpea Stew

You’ll remember earlier this week I made a recipe with a half a pound of minced beef? As the weather turned from crisp and clear to rain, rain and well a little more rain, I was in need of something nourishing to go with the batch of focaccia I’d made.  I decided to batchcook so added some extra protein to the pot so that I could freeze half of the warming chickpea stew for another day. Read More

14 Oct

One Pound Of Minced Meat

I have one pound of minced meat and it has to do us for two meals. There is loads of meat in this amount for 2 meals for 4 people (2 adults, 2 children). When meat is sold in a pound weight (454g) I know many families decide to lash it all into one meal and eat it all at once. Really, there is plenty of protein in the meat to stretch to two meals. Read More

11 Sep

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs

There are a number of films and cartoons that have been made in the past decade that deal with the theme of food. I suppose it’s only natural that they have become firm favourites in our house. “Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs”, or simple “Meatballs” in our house, is a feature length animation that has captivated the family time and again.

I love the transformation that food undergoes in the cooking process; where a few simple ingredients become a nourishing meal. I’m not sure that I could transform my dishes into a global weather event but this meal is a family favourite. I understand it’s probably not going to be a life changing dish for you, but we all need comfort, a nourishing meal to return to again and again when life is in ebb and flow. This is something that’s not too taxing to make, that my kids will definitely eat, that will satisfy you.

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