Meals times can be one of the most stressful times, for me- pulling them away from the TV, getting them to sit still on their chair as well as the ‘I don’t like that’ fiasco 😫. You bloody do! You absolutely woofed it down last week. 🤬. Both of these recipes are great because they can be prepped in advance and reheated, or slung in the slow-cooker. So all you have to worry about at tea time is dishing it out! They even taste a bit better a day or so later.
Frozen veg has been used to save prep time and it’s really cost effective. You can use just the right amount with no waste! I’ve also used a small pack of baking potatoes (or you can buy loose ones) because I never end up using a whole bag of white potatoes before they start sprouting roots. This way is cheaper and there’s less waste, and I’m more likely to use any left over spuds for jacket potatoes as a quick meal one night.
Beef Ragu: Serves 4 adults (or lots of little people) and is 543 calories per serving if served with 75g of dry spaghetti, cooked.
Stew and Dumplings: Serves four adults or two and a few little ones, and is 452 calories per serving.
- 500g of lean diced beef
- 1/2 bag of frozen casserole mix (carrot, swede onion and leek)
- 1 1/2 pints of instant gravy
- 2 baking potatoes
- Hendersons relish
- Packet of dumpling mix
- Tip the frozen veg, beef and gravy into a large pan.
- Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a low heat and cover.
- Simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Alternatively, add to a slow-cooker and cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 8 hours
- If cooking in the pan, stir every 15-20 minutes to stop the meat from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Peel and chop the potatoes into cubes about an inch big, and add to the meat and vegetables.
- If using a slow-cooker, transfer the mix to a pan to cook the potatoes- they never seem to go very soft in the slow-cooker…
- Give a few generous shakes of Henderson’s over the stew.
- Turn the heat up, until the stew begins to bubble again, then reduce the heat until the mixture is lightly bubbling.
- Cover the pan and simmer for another 25 minutes, stirring half-way through.
- Add the water to the dumpling mix, as per the instructions.
- Use a fork to mix the mixture, adding a splash more water if necessary, until there is no more of the dry ingredient visible.
- Dampen your hands and form the sticky mixture 4-8 dumplings.
- Place the dumplings on the top of the stew, cover and simmer for 25-35 minutes, depending on the size of your dumplings. Gently stir the stew half way through, trying to avoid sinking the dumplings.
- If you prefer crispier dumplings, transfer the stew into an ovenproof dish, place the dumplings on top and leave uncovered for 25-35 minutes on 190 degrees.
- When finished, the stew can either be kept warm or re-heated in a slow-cooker, or eaten there and then with lashings of Henderson’s Relish.
- Or, it can be kept in the fridge and microwaved or reheated in a saucepan when you want it!