Sunday, 30 January 2011

Money, time and energy saving tips encompassed in a cottage pie

Hmmm, pot roast.  We had a pot roast for tea tonight and the joy with pot roasts and stews is slow cookers are fantastically energy efficient:

http://www.energysavingcommunity.co.uk/five-small-energy-changes-bring-big-results.html

But unless you're one pot cooking, you need some accompaniments and I was craving a jacket potato.  So, my oven was going to be on for an hour which isn't much good for my electricity usage so I either bite the bullet and have one in the microwave (sorry, might save money but they taste minging) or I use the oven heat effectively.  After all, it costs the almost the same to heat an oven full as a half empty oven.  So I put some extra jacket potatoes in and a dish with my easy tomato sauce recipe:

http://mamacook.blogspot.com/2011/01/short-nursing-strikes-and-easy-sauce.html

Normally I would only freeze the sauce in big pots for my husband and I but this time I finally remembered to freeze it in smaller pots so I could easily heat some up for my son.  I have a feeling there's a tomato sauce based couscous recipe in me somewhere which I might have a go at.

I can't in all honesty though share the pot roast recipe because it's not mine but it's not that tricky and similar recipes are out there on the internet.  The best meat to use is beef brisket but unfortunately whatever I do it falls apart into not very pretty but very tasty shreds when I try to carve but these meaty shards when leftover are awesome for making cottage pie.  I don't mince the leftovers, I chop them finely then mix with leftover gravy.  Now cunningly I take my leftover jacket potatoes, scoop them out and mash through my bargain Ikea potato ricer (I'm rubbish at mashed potato but trust me, a ricer makes it foolproof) and then put the potato on top of my meat / gravy mixture, cool then refrigerate, add grated cheese on top before baking for around half an hour.  Ok, that means the oven is on again but it's not for quite as long and it does mean every bit of my joint was used, (including the gravy) and that my friends can't be bad.  Also if you think you don't like cottage pie, give it a go.  It is the best tasting cottage pie you will ever have!

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