Saturday, September 27, 2008

In A Stew

This whole "R" word (and I don't mean "romance") is certainly hitting people with a vengeance. I was in the hairdressers this morning & two of the girls who work there were talking about where was cheapest for meat - Tesco, Dunnes or SuperValu... they had it down to a fine art! Tesco is 3 times normal points on a Thursday, Dunnes is 25% back all this weekend and SuperValu has better meat, but the shop layout is so rubbish that you just buy what you need to get out quickly!!

I've been doing a bit of cutting back myself in recent days as we're just back from holidays in La Belle France where the motto was "ah sure stick it on the Visa & we'll sort it out when we get home". Mother of Jaysus, I wonder how many pages the Visa bill will run to next week? Mind you, we did shop wisely - vodka is €11 for a litre and beer is 70c a can, so we certainly won't be sober for the next few months given the amount of booze we crammed into my trusty car outside Auchan, LeClerc & Carrefour... even an item like a chair cover was a bargain (€20 compared to €50) so I got value for my plastic cash.

And so it comes to food. On Tesco's Super Thursday I decided to buy just enough to make a rake of dinners for the freezer and no ready meals. Therefore last night's batch of "cooking with mince" produced some damn fine Chili con Carne - 5 meals for less than a tenner, and this evening, I have a very yummy beef casserole humming away on on the hob. I was never really into stews as to be honest, they weren't Mum's strong point so I ignored them. But the past few months has led to a rediscovery of granny cooking with a twist.
I will only eat turnip if it's been reduced to almost a puree and parsnips are vile creatures fit only for rabbits, so they never makes the pot. Tonight's culinary masterpiece contains leeks, carrots, onions, celery, spuds and some gorgeous rib steak which is dirt cheap at the mo. Add a load of stock & gravy, the red wine which I've just remembered to put in and you have a cracking meal for very little money. Fair enough it takes time, which I definitely don't have during the week, but this makes great freezer food if you can get your act together at the weekend. Add a pile of shredded & steamed Savoy cabbage and it's paradise on a plate.
Jesus, I'm starving.

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