Jamie Oliver

forum: Gardening / Growing

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#1 Tue 08 May 07 4:50am

Blade Hunter

Member
Occupation Manger of Digital operations @ SonyBMG
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Mon 07 May 07

Tasty meals on a budget

Over the years, I have created a number of meals to cater for times where the cash supply may not be as large as we would like. I will start with this one and if you guys like it I will look to post some more in the same thread over the coming days.





This is a quick one that I created many moons ago when i first left home and had to budget big time.

500Grams of mince
teaspoond of chilli powder (Vary this to your own tastes)
2 Teaspoons of turmeric
2 Teaspoons of Corriander powder
2 Teaspoons of Cumin powder
1 Teaspoon of Mixed Spice / Garamasala powder
2 Teaspoons of Chopped or crushed Garlic
1 Teaspoon of Ginger powder
2 medium onion's diced

In a pan (I prefer a large teflon wok for this one) brown the onions and garlic and ginger in a moderate amount of olive oil.

Add the spices and really fry them through, I would allocate a good 5 - 10 mins to fry them up nicely, Teflon is good because it reduces the chance of over frying and burning the powders.

Add the mince and stir it through, really coat it with the masala paste you have just created. Keep this stirring, you want to seal the meat, not dry it out.

At this point, I do add 2 or 3 stock cubes (Crushed up oxo), this is entirely up to your own personal tastes though, I just find it really promotes the beefy goodness of the meal.

Set 4 cups of basmati rice cooking.

Add whatever vegies you can get your hands on, I usualy slice some mushrooms and some corn but its just personal taste. Let this cook for a cood amount of time, you don't want your mince to be dry but you dont want liquid in the pan either, leave the lid off and lower the heat, the meat will remain juicy to the bite.

Add the rice and really mix it through about 5 mins before serving. Put the lid on and let the rice take on the aroma of the meat and spices.

Serve and enjoy.

If you have some Dhal, it goes just beautifully with this meal. When my wife and I first started living together there were times when we made this and managed to stretch it over an entire weeks worth of meals.

Getting a bit bored of it after 3 or 4 days? No problem, just dribble a tiny bit of viniger into it, give it a whole new flavour dimension smile.





Stay tuned for tomorrow addition, we call them Beejee burgers, same reciped makes a sensational meatloaf smile.

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#2 Sun 13 May 07 2:15pm

dani.04*

Member
Occupation student chef, food and beverage attendant caterer
From Australia
Member since Thu 03 May 07

Re: Tasty meals on a budget

that recipie sounds great! I can't wait to try it. I love savoury mince. and I am now on a tight budget as i have left a full time management job to become a ful time cookery student. so times are lean
mrgreen

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#3 Mon 14 May 07 3:30am

GeoffP

Forum champ
Occupation Retired Clergy & Computer Consultant
From Bradford, West Yorks
Member since Mon 03 Jul 06

Re: Tasty meals on a budget

This dish is basically the traditional Keema Biryani, as follows:-

Keema Biryani (Minced Beef Rice) Recipe

Ingredients:

    * 350 grams of Basmati Rice (washed well with a few changes of water and soaked for at least ½ hour - if needed)
    * 400 grams of Minced Beef (Keema)
    * 1 large Onion (chopped)
    * 1" piece of Cinnamon Stick (Dal Cheeni)
    * 4 Cardamom Pods (Choti Ilaichi)
    * 5 Cloves (Loung)
    * A few strands of Saffron (Zafran)
    * 1 tsp. Red Chilli Powder (Pisi Lal Mirchain) (or to taste)
    * 3 tbsp. of Plain Yogurt
    * 1 tsp. Ginger Paste (Pisa Lehsan)
    * 1 tsp. Garlic Paste (Pisi Adrak)
    * ½ cup of Milk
    * 1 cup of Chicken Stock
    * 2 tbsp. of Lime Juice (Nimbu Arkh)
    * 100 grams of Clarified Butter (Ghee) or Cooking Oil

Directions:

   1. Cook the rice in salted water until it is just half done. Drain out the water and set aside. Mix the saffron in milk and set aside.

   2. Heat the clarified butter in a karhai or deep pan; add the chopped onion. Fry until it is translucent. Add the whole spices and allow to splutter. Mix in the minced meat, ginger paste and garlic paste; fry for 6-7 minutes over medium heat. Once the beef is nicely fried and a fine aroma rises, mix in the plain yogurt and the red chilli powder and continue to cook over low heat for another 3-4 minutes. Turn off the flame and set aside.

   3. Take an oven-proof dish with a lid and place a portion of the half-cooked rice at the bottom of the half-cooked rice at the bottom of the baking dish. Cover with a portion of the prepared keema and sprinkle half of the saffron milk and half the quantity of the lime juice. Cover with another portion of rice and repeat the layers for the keema, lime juice and saffron.

   4. Top with the remaining rice. Pour the chicken stock over the layered biryani. Seal the top with the lid or with foil, and bake in an oven at low temperature for 15 minutes.

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#4 Mon 14 May 07 10:19am

GeoffP

Forum champ
Occupation Retired Clergy & Computer Consultant
From Bradford, West Yorks
Member since Mon 03 Jul 06

Re: Tasty meals on a budget

Cooking tasty meals on a budget just needs a little pre-planning. Once you get into the habit, it becomes second nature.

It all starts with the store cupboard - the things you always have in. A well stocked store cupboard gives you the basis for budget cookery.

In your store cupboard, yiu should have a wide variety of dried goods

- all kinds of pulses - beans, peas, lentils. etc. etc.
- different grains - rices, couscous, pearl barley, etc. etc.
- different flours - plain, self raising, brown, bread, rice, gram etc. etc.
- different dried pastas and noodles, both european and asian
- whole dried spices - as wide a variety as you can find
- sugars - white, brown, dark, unrefined, molasses, treacles, honeys etc. etc.
- exotics - dried shrimp, mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers

All these things, if stored in dark, dry conditions, properly sealed, will last "forever"

- ground spices and dried herbs (a wide variety, but small quantities - these only keep for a few months)

And a wide variety of "wet goods"

Oils - olive (extra virgin, ordinary, pomace), sunflower, groundnut, rapeseed etc etc.
Vinegars - malt, white, wine, cider, rice balsamic etc. etc.
Sauces - soy (dark, light, sweet), fish (nam pla), worcestershire, oyster, etc. etc.
Pastes - lots of different curry pastes, black bean & yellow bean pastes, tomato puree, harissa etc. etc.
Pickles and chutneys - onion, gherkin, cucumber, beetroot, all in vinegar and asian pickles - lime, mango, etc. etc.

Most of these will last "forever" if stored in the dark, though some need to be kept in the fridge.

Tins - not many of these!
Tinned chopped tomatoes, tinned tuna, tinned corned beef, tinned sardines.

Bottles
Anchovies, capers, olives etc.

Fresh goods:-
Garlic, root ginger, red & green chillis

Garlic will keep for weeks in the dark. root ginger and chillis will keep for a fortnight in the fridge.

By now, you are probably thinking that it all sounds very expensive to start - but you would be wrong. What you do is to buy just a few items each week - perhaps one packet of beans, one bag flour, one packet spice, one bottle oil, one bottle vinegar, etc. etc.. An expenditure of just £5 to £10 or so a week at first on your store cupboard goods will quickly build up to a well stocked kitchen, and the wider the variety you have, the more you can do - and the more you will save in the long run. Once your cupboard is well stocked, then its just a matter of replacement as and when necessary.

Next - the fresh stuff - meat, fish, vegetables and fruit.

This is where the fridge & the freezer come into their own.

The best place to buy are farm shops and markets.

I buy meat in quite large quantities, but irregularly, and  buying 1/2 a sheep, or a quarter pig, or fore or hind quarter of beef is very much cheaper than buying it by the pound. I spend around £70 at a time - but this buys enough meat to last a couple of months. I then do the final butchering and packing into portions and freezing at home (it just takes an hour or so, including any mincing). I also buy poussin by the dozen, offal (liver, kidneys, hearts etc.) in largish packs, and divide into portions for freezing. From tge same farm shops I also buy a few frozen luxury items, like packs of duck breasts or legs, pairs of pheasants or partridges, wild rabbits, guinea fowl etc. - whatever they gave in stock that is good value. My total expenditure on meat of all sorts is about £100 every couple of months, and the freezer is always very well stocked. You need to "rotate your stocks" to make sure that they don't stay in te freezer too long - its a good idea to date the packs as well as label the contents!

For fish, we buy "shatterpacks" of frozen fish at the local fishmarket. they weigh about 14lbs, so a few of us share a pack every few weeks. It means we can all keep a good variety of different fish in the freezer. (and the price is about 1/2 what you pay in the shops). I also buy frozen lobster and frozen giant uncooked pawns in the same place, but most shellfish I buy fresh from a local fishmonger as they don't freeze very well.

Fruit and veg I buy at the food co-op we set up at the church/community centre. The co-op buys in quantity at the wholesale veg market, and open 3 days a week + Sunday after church - its "not for profit", so prices are generally cheaper than supermarket.

Cooking, and eating on a budget are a matter of habit and pre-planning - but once you get into the habit, it becomes a way of life smile.

I reckon that we eat well, and have a very varied diet covering most different cuisines, for about £15 - 20 per head per week.

Which leaves enough for wine -but that's a different story:)

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#5 Tue 15 May 07 5:55am

jenvdk

Member
Occupation Mom of 2
From Alberta, Canada
Member since Mon 07 May 07

Re: Tasty meals on a budget

help I'm not sure what exactly you are referring to when you say 'mince'.  Am I correct to think of it as ground beef?  This dish sounds very yummy and I would love to give it a try. smile

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#6 Tue 15 May 07 7:35am

GeoffP

Forum champ
Occupation Retired Clergy & Computer Consultant
From Bradford, West Yorks
Member since Mon 03 Jul 06

Re: Tasty meals on a budget

Yes - mince = ground.

However, it doesn't have to be ground beef. In Indian cuisine it is more likely to be lamb, mutton or kid. In Chinese or South Asian cuisine it would probably be pork. Around the Mediterranean, it could easily be chicken. In Western "ready meals" it us quite likely to be turkey.
The main point abut using mince in budget meals is that mince, in whatever form, is usually cheap.

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#7 Tue 15 May 07 6:34pm

jenvdk

Member
Occupation Mom of 2
From Alberta, Canada
Member since Mon 07 May 07

Re: Tasty meals on a budget

Thanks so much for the info GeoffP!  I loved your post with all the info about stocking your cupboards as well...great stuff! big_smile

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#8 Wed 16 May 07 3:09am

Blade Hunter

Member
Occupation Manger of Digital operations @ SonyBMG
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Mon 07 May 07

Re: Tasty meals on a budget

Wow, sorry about the delay in getting back on here, great to see some people adding to this thread, keep the recipes coming guys smile.

OK Beejee burgers are quite simply very tasty burgers on a budget, everyone who has tried these falls in love with them.

The quantities purely depends on your own tastes of most things, where I put "some" xyz then just put in the amount you think will suit your tastes, some chilli for example, you may not like things as hot as I do or you may like it hotter.

Necesary ingredients:

1 KG of Sausage meat (Just the el cheapo brand is fine)
5 or 6 weetbix / wheatabix (I am not sure what they are called in any country other than AU or UK but you can find a description in google)
2 or 3 diced onions

You will need to Choose either option 1 OR option 2 below:
Option 1) 1 KG Minced beef
Option 2) 500G Minced beef and 500G Minced Lamb

- Note, these two methods each have very different flavours and are both lovely.

Flavour options:
Some Salt
Some Pepper
Some chilli
Any flavour enhancers you can get your hands on - What I mean by this is if you have come green thai curry paste in the fridge, throw some in. If you have some tamarind, throw a small bit in, spices in the cupboard? Get some of that in there too. The more stuff you throw in, the tastier it will be.

I know this recipe is very broad so I will show what I used last time:
Salt, Pepper, Freshly chopped chillis (4), Thai Green curry paste, Turmeric (about 3 tablespoons), 2 teaspoons of gara masala (Mixed spice) about 4 tablespoons of garlic and 2 of ginger.

Take your jewelry off, roll up your sleeves, throw everything except the weetbix into a bowl and dive in, really need it all together. Go absolutely nuts here you can't possibly overmix this.

When it becomes one consistent colour, crush the weetbix and add it in, once again mix it all through (If you don't have weetbix you can use breadcrumbs).

Once done clean your hands and get a bowl of water

moisten your hands and break off enough of the meat mix to make a ball about twice the size of a ping pong (table tennis) ball
roll it to a nice round shape in your hands
flatten it in your palms to about 3 CM think, do NOT make them completely flat.
Mosten hands in the bowl of water and start again.

When you have a pan full of them, lightly fry them up.

These freeze extremely well. You can also load up a meatloaf dish and bake it in the over on 180 for an hour+ until cooked. If you are going to do that, I like to grate some carrot and put a mixture of grated carrot and breadcrumbs in the base of the dish first, when this bakes the carrot breaks down and becomes this sticky gloopy stuff which when combined with the breadcrumbs makes a nice crispy sweet shell on the top (You bake the meatloaf upside down)

If you go the meatloaf option, you can always slice it and throw the slices on a barbecue, the barbecued piecs are just great as an apatizer, the BBQ really gives them a light smoky flavour and they can be enjoyed with some sweet or hot chilli sauce.

Sorry for any spelling or grammar errors, I am short on time at work today and typing straight off the top of my head.

I will add another budget recipe very soon smile.

Cheers

Dan

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#9 Thu 17 May 07 5:01am

GeoffP

Forum champ
Occupation Retired Clergy & Computer Consultant
From Bradford, West Yorks
Member since Mon 03 Jul 06

Re: Tasty meals on a budget

Using weetabix for frikadelle - now that is a great idea - thanks!

I usually use dried breadcrumbs, but will certainly try weetabix next time around.

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#10 Thu 17 May 07 5:31am

Blade Hunter

Member
Occupation Manger of Digital operations @ SonyBMG
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Mon 07 May 07

Re: Tasty meals on a budget

GeoffP wrote:

Using weetabix for frikadelle - now that is a great idea - thanks!

I usually use dried breadcrumbs, but will certainly try weetabix next time around.

Hehe we figured that one out before we moved to Australia, times were very tough and my mum was looking for anything she could bulk up the meal with that we had in the cupboard, she tried it out and we loved it, it actually (surprisingly) tastes better than breadcrumbs smile.

It's funny but my most favoured meals from my childhood were during the hard times. That was when Sunday dinner was an all day experience, my mum would be cooking all day, boiling down bones and the like to make our own stock.

As kids we loved hanging out with our mum so we used to roll up our sleeves and jump right on in there, all three of us ended up pretty decent in the kitchen, I strongly believe that this is the reason why smile.

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