Sunday, 5 February 2012

How to cook a meal (written by someone who can't cook)

I am not a domestic goddess. Far from it. Unfortunately, my family and I still need to eat. My husband often takes care of dinner, but I do need to pull a rabbit out of the hat (or dinner out of the freezer) every now and again.

I'm a big fan of freezer cooking, mostly because I'm lazy. The recipe below is for (Spaghetti) Bolognese and it freezes well. I just cook the bol and freeze that, then cook the pasta fresh on the night. My husband has rice instead of pasta; sometimes I cook that and freeze it with the meat, other times we just cook it fresh on the night.

Freezer cooking is great, since I can cook at a more convenient time (that is, after Chubs is in bed) and if I cook in bulk then we get a few meals out of it. This means less preparation, washing up and fuss in general.

The portions here are for eight serves, so four dinners for our family of two big people.

1kg beef mince (I buy the cheapest stuff and drain it, but you may prefer the leaner stuff)
2 cups frozen veggies (you could use fresh if you wanted, but I'm too lazy)
1 onion, diced (I skip this, but supposedly everyone else in the world likes onion)
1 tin tomatoes (crushed, chopped, whole or whatever was on special that week)
1 jar pasta sauce (I said this was a recipe for someone who can't cook)
2 glasses of wine (substitute for your favourite tipple as required)

Stick the onion in the pan until it goes clear-ish (allegedly this happens - like I said, I skip this bit.)
Brown the mince and drain the fat if you're a cheapskate like me who buys the low grade fatty stuff. I find it easier to brown 500g of mince at a time, and then stick all the browned mince in together for the next steps.
Tip in the tinned tomatoes and the jar of pasta sauce, stir and let it simmer for a bit.
To keep busy while you're supervising the simmering, start drinking the first glass of wine.
When it seems to 'come together' after about five minutes, add in the veggies.
Let it simmer some more for about ten more minutes until it reduces a bit and you finish your wine. Dish the bolognese up into whatever containers you are freezing it in.
Label the containers, bung in the freezer and pour yourself a congratulatory glass of wine.

If you really want domestic goddess points, do the washing up as well instead of leaving it for later. You get another glass of wine if you're good enough to do the washing up, too.

This certainly isn't going to get me on any TV cooking shows, but it's fairly cheap, reasonably healthy, simple to cook and dead easy to upscale to make in bulk for the freezer.

Also, can you tell I'm breastfeeding and miss cooking with wine?

Check out this link for more frugal meals

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