Monday, 25 February 2013

How to stretch a portion into 3

I have read a lot of blog posts recently on how much the price of meat has gone up. I have to admit that I had not noticed, simply because through January and February I have barely shopped, it has been a store cupboard 8 weeks and gradually the stock of my freezer has been reducing. I am, however getting lower and soon I will have to brave the supermarket again. Consequently I have barely spent anything on food recently, which is lovely.
So with all this in mind I went to my trusty freezer list to see what was in there and among other things I found that I had a portion of beef stew that I made a few months ago. I thought that it would be a good idea to make this stretch a bit more, so armed with my new pastry skills I decided to put it into a small pie. What a good idea this was. One portion of stew put with pastry makes 3 portions of stew.

So yesterday's lunch was a third of the pie, some oven chips (I wanted mash really, but I have run out of potatoes), peas and gravy, with some of my home made pickled red cabbage and pickled onions.

In future, when I make a casserole, I will try to make a pie out of one of the portions.

Other news is that my 20 year old oven has given up the ghost. The mini top oven is still working but cooks very very badly, hence the slightly overdone pastry. Not good when you cook a lot. Luckily, my sister is throwing away a perfectly good oven as she is having a new kitchen, so being me, I have swooped in there and nabbed it. It is a slightly different height than mine (integrated) but the same width, so it will fit in the space with room on the top. A bit of carpentry should sort that out. Now I just have to keep my fingers crossed that nothing else gives up working. My broken bath, by the way, is working perfectly ok for showers with some heavy duty gaffa tape. This stuff works like a dream and there are no leaks so far and I haven't had to replace any tape yet. Should do me for a few months.


  1. Do you hold your breath every time you step into your bath? When we moved in here, I was 8 months pregnant and the bath was full of mini cracks and I was always wondering, which bath would make me break it!

  2. I always buy the biggest chicken I can find and stretch it to 3 sometimes 4 meals (1st: roast chicken, 2nd: chicken a la king, 3rd: chicken salad or chicken quiche and, of course, 4th: chicken soup with with bones providing the stock, and the tiny bits of flesh which falls of the bones get added to pearl barley, peeled and chopped onions, carrots, broccoli or whatever veg you have / like.)

    Check at your local hardware store and see of they have any r-e-a-l-l-y heavy duty epoxy glue suitable for a bath repair...

  3. I'm a stretcher too, always have been, lucky break about the oven! Hope the bath holds up!

  4. In terms of meat, it is legal in the uk to hunt rabbits with a catapult or a dog, you can also snare them or net them. It is important to get the landowners' permission so you're not poaching :-)

  5. We are padding out our meals to try and stretch the meat we use too. I bought 2lb of steak mince at our local butchers last week and managed to make 4 meals worth of bolognese and six meals worth of chilli for me and my husband. I use loads of vegetables and pulse so the meat really goes quite far. I also make pies to make portions stretch further. A portion of bolognese or chilli topped with potato or baked in pastry is yummy and very filling :)

  6. Had to laugh at that - I've long sworn by the fact that you can stretch things no end by either encasing then in pastry, or slapping a layer of mashed potato on the top!

  7. We do things differently.

    We wait until the supermarket discounts its fresh goods, meat, fish, veg, bakery, etc, and then do our shopping. Last week we got £96 of goods for £3.71, and because of a multibuy offer they even paid us 9p for two pork joints costing £9.70.

    You should try it!