Sunday, 8 January 2012

All Week Roast

The first proper Sunday of the year  (last week we were still having leftovers from Christmas!) and I'm trying to stick to one (of many) New Year resolutions for the environment. In previous blogs I've talked about the benefits of cooking a big joint of meat at the weekend and then using the leftovers through the week. Here are a few good reasons just to remind you:
  • Uses less energy- no need to heat the oven up again during the week as you've already cooked the meat
  • Uses less time- just boil a few veg and you're ready to eat
  • Uses less money- buying one joint of meat and then splitting it over the week is probably cheaper than buying lots of different types of meat for different days.
  • Uses less food- if you're trying to make the joint last for as many meals as possible you won't be tempted to eat it all at once. So it's probably a bit healthier for the waistline!
Today I cooked a joint of beef in the slow cooker and it's been filling the house with yummy smells all day. But now the meat's cooked, the potatoes are roasting and the veg is ready on the hob. There is so much gravy from the slow cooking that we'll be able to have it all week too (it's my favourite part of a roast dinner, the gravy).

So today it's roast, tomorrow meat pie, Tuesday a veggie break with macaroni cheese, Wednesday cold meat and veg, Thursday if there's any left maybe a stir fry or curry and by Friday if we've been thrifty enough we'll have cold meat and mash with veg. I'm not sure the joint will last that long, but even if it does today, tomorrow and Wednesday that will still be 6 meal portions and I'll be able to use leftover gravy to spice up vegetable soups too. For a tenner I think that's quite good really if you're determined to eat meat, and the beef is British!

I'm hoping to cook a big joint each week and see how long I can make it last, getting creative with leftovers and learning new recipes as the year goes by. You might think the same meat every day would get boring, but if you eat meat 3-4  times a week and are veggie the rest it's surprising how varied the meals can be. Cheese sauce, a pasta bolognese, or a curry can all have the same meal in and taste completely different.

Another good trick is while the oven's hot cook as much as you can, to make the most of the heat. So maybe now's the time to bake some bread...

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