Friday, August 29, 2008

Cooking made easy

I am all for effortless cooking and this recipe jumped out at me as one that would fit that bill. I found it in this months Taste magazine, which I subscribe to. I doubled the recipe (which makes a lot!!) and did one half in the crockpot and the other in the oven to see what difference in texture and flavour there would be. Funnily enough, the combining of the two was the best, the crockpot one was a little watery, the oven one a little intense, so it worked out really well. In the future though, I think I would go with the oven one and maybe shorten the cooking time a wee bit, or add more tomatoes. The oven version definitely ends up with a deeper flavour. I ended up making a lasagne with some of the sauce, then had the sauce on spaghetti the next night. I had a huge amount to freeze, which gives me a tasty and easy midweek meal that I can rely on when I don't feel like cooking. What's more, Carys LOVES it, has requested it every night since I made it......!

The lasagne I made with my first failed attempt at mozzarella, which ended up looking alot like ricotta, so I whizzed it up with some spinach as a layer for the lasagne (I had tried to make the mozzarella for adorning the top but it was obviously not to be!) I also cooked and mashed some pumpkin and of course layered it with a cheese sauce. It was fabulous and again, the leftovers were packaged up for the freezer! I really love the common sense aspect of cooking like this, it is cheaper and healthier than takeaways and both those outcomes just make me feel better!

Ultimate Meat Sauce (From Taste Magazine August 08)


4 Tbsp olive oil
2 red onions, finely diced
6 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 rasher bacon, finely diced (optional)
6 bayleaves
2 stalks rosemary
500g lean lamb mince
500g lean pork mince
500g lean beef mince
7 x 400g cans tomatoes


Heat the oil in a large heavy-based ovenproof pot, then sauté the onions, garlic, bacon and herbs for a couple of minutes or until soft.
Add the meats (in batches if preferred) and cook for about 5 minutes, until browned. Add the tomatoes, mix well, cover and place in the oven for 2 hours at 150°C. After cooking, season to taste.
Divide the meat sauce in two and use half to make lasagne and half for ragu. The meat sauce freezes well and can also be used as a pie filling or topped with mash for a cottage pie.


Beth (jamandcream) said...

This looks lovely and meaty. Delicious

Anonymous said...

This is my kind of recipe. Not only it is easy, it can be used in so many different ways. I like the idea of mixing three different meats.

Deb said...

I had eyed up that meat sauce too! It can be jazzed up and used in so many ways. Great for those end of day "oh what am I going to cook for dinner tonight" type of moments!

Anonymous said...

That looks fabulous, I've got the recipe bookmarked.

Rosie said...

Delicious Linda such comfort food and my kinda of food - yum :)

Rosie x